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Times of India
04 June 2011
Mumbai, India

Vadodara schoolboy Aryan Purohit will always carry the distinction of being the first patient of KEM Hospital, Parel, to get a bone-anchored hearing aid(Baha).

"It’s the first time that any public hospital has performed such a surgery,’’ said ENT surgeon Dr Hetal Marfatia, who is an associate professor in KEM Hospital.Priced atRs1.56 lakh, Baha is more expensive than other conventional hearing aids. But 12-year-old Aryan, who was born with smaller than usual external ear or pinna, needed something more special than the usual hearing aids.

On May27,Dr Marfatia performed the first part of the treatment: fixing a tiny titanium implanton thebonebehind Aryan’s external ear. On Friday, Aryan’s sutures were removed and he got a demonstration of how Baha’s external processor will work. One in 10,000 children is born with deformedear and pinna.

The doctor said, "Baha has two parts. The internal part is to be fitted with surgery once the scalp bone is sufficiently thick and the external part which is the sound processor and captures sound and convertsitto vibration,issnapped toit.’’

Aryan’s parents, Chandraprakash and Dhiraj Purohit, were ecstatic. They had done years of research to find ways to help their son’s hearing impairment. A chance meeting with Dr Marfatia with the Purohits in Udaipur resulted in the operation.Aryan is happy. He got a demo of the device on Friday–a Velcro band attached the external processor near his ear and helped him hear "fully’’ for the first time. In six months’ time,the processor will be attached to the titanium rod. "He will be able to hear at the optimum level with this hearing aid in his right ear,’’ saidDr Marfatia.

Hearing Matter
How it Works: The Baha processor picks up sound waves and sends an amplified signal (through a computer chip) to the implant. The sound waves are passed directly through the bone to the inner ear, bypassing the poorly formed outer and middle ears. Vibrations, which create the sound wave, reach the inner ear and cause waves in the fluid of the cochlea. The hair cells in the inner ear convert the fluid movement into electrical signals sent to the hearing nerve, which sends the information to the brain as electrical impulses, where they are interpreted as sound

What is Baha?
The system uses bone conduction to transfer sound to the inner ear naturally

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