12 Sep, 2023 @ 10:07
1 min read

Local and visiting surgeons carry out ear operation in Gibraltar hospital that leaves out need for UK travel

SURGEONS have carried out a key ear operation in Gibraltar for the first time that shortens recovery time from up to four months to just four weeks.

The successful ‘cochlear’ implant operation removes the need for patients to stay in the UK for four months at the cost of the taxpayer.

It will mean patients can now be discharged the same day as the operation and recover with their families before the electronic gadget that improves hearing can be switched on.

Patients previously had to remain in the UK for up to four months because of the risks of changing air pressure on the plane.

A cochlear implant requires both surgery and a large amount of therapy for patients to relearn the sense of hearing.

It takes them time and practice with different departments to start to recognise the sounds of daily life.

Having this done fully on the Rock ensures minimum disruption to patients and their families, with local support on hand to help make the operation a success.

A visiting team of Consultant ENT surgeons from University College London Hospital took part in the local surgery.

Director of the Auditory Implant Programme at the UCLH was the lead surgeon accompanied by Professor Shak Saeed.

Their role in the surgery is a result of an 18-month relationship with Gibraltar.

They have been working for a year with the patient to reach this point.

And now the local team hope they will able to support more patients in the future.

GHA Director General Patrick Geoghegan said: “Today’s successful surgery is a positive example of what can be achieved locally as a result of the Reset, Restart, Recover programme that saw the inauguration of the GHA’s new ENT and Audiology Suite in February this year.”

And Minister for Health Albert Isola called it an ‘incredible success for both the patient and the visiting ENT team’.

“This is a prime example of how investing in the right things in the right way has direct positive results on patients and their families,” he said.

“They can now undergo treatment at home, in Gibraltar, instead of spending lengthy amounts of time in the UK.”

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