Rare surgery gives joy of hearing to girl with deformed ears

Rare surgery gives joy of hearing to girl with deformed ears

Seven-year-old Keerthi was born with both her ears folded in and suffered from nearly 80 per cent hearing loss. 

A recent complex surgery by doctors at People Tree Hospitals, where they implanted a ‘bone anchored hearing aid,’ has restored her hearing.While Keerthi is thrilled to hear everything clearly, her parents jump with joy for their daughter.

Keerthi was diagnosed with Microtia, a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. She was one of the lucky 100 to be selected for a free complex surgery by the doctors at People Tree Hospitals a month ago. During the surgery, the doctors implanted the hearing aid into her skull, along with an accompanied device outside the ear. Dr Ravi Sachidananda, consultant ENT and head and neck surgeon, said Keerthi underwent a rare surgery. This was a fifth-of-its-kind surgery performed in India. 

“Although both her ears had not developed and were folded since birth, we found that Keerthi had a good working inner ear (cochlea) after we conducted a comprehensive ENT examination. She certainly needed at least three surgeries for us to be able to get the magnetic implant fitted to her skull and a device outside as well,” he said.

Ravi said the hearing aid would cost almost Rs four lakh along with the surgery. People Tree Foundation and its philanthropists, who sponsor and donate funds for complex surgeries to be performed on poor and needy patients, came to Keerthi’s rescue. 

With the generous contribution of the owner of an export company, Keerthi’s surgery was performed a month ago. Dr Chandrasekar Chikkamuniyappa, CEO of People Tree Hospitals, said the device itself costs around Rs 3.5 lakh.Keerthi’s father Chennamallappa, a driver and a resident of Chikkabanavara in Bengaluru North taluk, said he is at his happiest. 

“My daughter is very bright and chirpy, her only drawback was that she was not able to hear. Due to her hearing condition, she also developed speech problems. Other than the fact that she cannot pronounce words, my daughter is very brilliant. Now, with the surgery and a little help with her speech, she will excel at school as well,” he said.

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