News

Sask. woman can now hear after being 1st in North America to undergo new surgery

Sask. woman can now hear after being 1st in North America to undergo new surgery
Health
WATCH ABOVE: A Saskatchewan woman says she can hear again out of her right ear after undergoing the first implant surgery of its kind in North America. Joel Senick reports.

-

Listen

A Saskatchewan woman is spending more time in conversation after undergoing North America’s first-ever Neuro System cochlear implant surgery in August.

“Every time I pass my husband in the house, I say ‘say something, say something,’” Vi Flatt said with a laugh Friday at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital.

It’s no surprise she’s eager to listen. The 80-year-old said she’s used hearing aids for roughly 35 years and her hearing has deteriorated since.

“When you first lose your hearing it happens so gradually that it becomes a new normal and you’re asking people to repeat and you don’t realize that you can’t hear,” Flatt said.

“You try and focus on what they’re saying and it doesn’t come through because you really don’t have the capability of listening.”

Flatt’s right ear has been completely deaf for a decade, according to doctors. In August, she had a device implanted under her skin behind that ear that allows her to now hear.

“What cochlear implants do is they allow people to regain their own entity, because they can connect with people, whether they’re family or friends,” said Dr. Nael Shoman, who performed the procedure at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Shoman added that the procedure is targeted toward those that have hearing loss to the point where hearing aids offer little or no benefit.

“For that population of patients, life can be very, very challenging,” Shoman said.

“It’s hard to connect with somebody else if you’ve lost hearing.”

The system collects sound through an external device. It then travels to the auditory nerve, which is connected to the brain. Shoman said roughly 45 people in Saskatchewan could qualify for the procedure annually.

Saskatoon is currently one of only five Canadian cities to offer the Neuro System, which was brought to country by Oticon Medical. The device was already available in various European cities for nearly a year.

Flatt said she’s still adjusting to the device as the sound is more mechanical than natural. However, she said she hopes to soon enjoy her favourite melodic pastime.
Read more on globalnews.ca
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Top Stories
A nurse and mother of two in Kelowna, B.C., has found herself at the bottom of a two year waitlist for cochlear implants, all while she struggles to communicate with her...
Sports
The New Zealander’s rise in rugby is all the more remarkable given he was deaf up until several years ago when a cochlear implant restored his hearing. Mitchell, 25, was...
Health
You ve likely seen the stories of infants and small children hearing for the first time with the help of cochlear implants, but one Toronto hospital is pioneering the use...
Top Stories
Thats because the 11 month old girl became the youngest patient in Manitoba to receive cochlear implants, allowing her to hear for the first time in her life. It was tears of...
Science
Researchers from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children s Hospital of Chicago present further evidence that deaf children who received cochlear implants implanted electronic hearing device before 12 months of...