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Auditory brainstem implants surgery for children is routinely commissioned by NHS from April 2019
At the end of April of 2019, the NHS England has announced the start of routine commissioning of pioneering brain surgery in the two following hospitals in the UK:
- Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
- Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London
In these hospitals, two highly specialist teams will perform Auditory Brainstem Implants surgery for children who are deaf across the country. This kind of surgery is for children who are profoundly deaf, aged five or under, who are unable to use conventional hearing aids or implants because their inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve did not develop properly.
The highly complex procedure involves inserting a device directly into the brain to stimulate hearing pathways, bypassing the cochlea and auditory nerve that have not developed properly. After the implant has been inserted, long-term support is crucial to help children learn to listen and understand new signals from their implant. This may be as simple as recognizing their own name being called, but it may also involve understanding simple phrases.
It is estimated that about 15 children per year would be assessed for auditory brainstem implantation and that about nine would go on to have the surgery, which costs around £60,000 per patient.
A few children have already been able to benefit from this pioneering surgery.
See the full information in English here.
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