For the first time in Israel, a five year old boy who was born deaf underwent an auditory brain stem implant at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and he was given the gift of sound.

A multidisciplinary team from Shaare Zedek Medical Center composed of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons, Neurosurgeons and Audiologists in collaboration with a team from New York University Lagone Medical Center which included Prof. Thomas Roland, Head of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery; Dr. John G. Golfinos, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery; Dr. William Shapiro, Supervisor of Audiology at the New York University Cochlear Implant Center and Dr. Alison J. Rigby, of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery performed the complex surgery.

The little boy was born without an auditory nerve and was completely deaf. This highly intricate surgery has only been performed in a small number of medical centers across the globe and requires cooperation among otolaryngological surgeons, brain surgeons and communications disorder clinicians. In this procedure, a highly innovative brain stem implant was surgically inserted into the brain stem in the area of the auditory nucleus in order to bypass the missing auditory nerve.

Dr. Ronen Perez, the Director of the Otology Unit Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery and Prof. Jean-Yves Sichel, the Head of the Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery Department at Shaare Zedek who headed the team from Israel shared, “The opening of the neurosurgical department at Shaare Zedek allows us to perform complex and multidisciplinary actions that we could not perform in the past…The addition of Dr. Nevo Margalit [the Director of the Department of Neurosurgery], who is an expert in surgery in the base of the brain, made it possible to access the brain stem and perform the implant.”

The young boy can now hear and the team of audiologists from Shaare Zedek Medical Center headed by Ms. Ricki Salem along with Ms. Genia Brill and the team from AV Israel (Auditory Verbal Israel) will continue to provide him with ongoing rehabilitation support to help him develop his communication skills.

In the photo: Dr. Margalit