An innovative brain surgery for profoundly deaf children has been made routinely available by NHS England.
The surgery will allow children under the age of five whose inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve did not develop properly to experience the sensation of hearing. The procedure involves directly implanting a device into the brain to stimulate hearing pathways.
It is estimated that fifteen children will be assessed annually for auditory brainstem implantation, and nine would go on to have the surgery. The cost estimate of the surgery is calculated at £60,000 per procedure.
The surgery will be provided at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and at St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said:
“As we put the NHS Long Term Plan into practice, the health service will continue to make the very latest, innovative treatments, like this, available to patients across the country along with world class care.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“I’m in awe of the extraordinary medical advances made possible by the brilliant specialists working on our NHS.”
See the full announcement for further comments and case studies.