May 2021 Sunday Observer
The team of doctors led by Consultant ENT Surgeon Dr. Sanjeewani Rupasinghe performed the surgery
Marking a milestone in hearing healthcare, the first ever simultaneous bilateral cochlear nucleus freedom series implant surgery was successfully performed at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital recently. The team of doctors led by Consultant ENT Surgeon of the hospital, Dr. Sanjeewani Rupasinghe, performed the surgery on a two-and-a-half-year-old child, in early February. The surgical procedure implanted the cochlear nucleus freedom contour advance with wireless N7 speech processor, which is the most technologically advanced device available in the world at present. The processor was then switched on, on February 24 at the Wickramarachchi Hearing Institute in Nugegoda, to coincide with the World Cochlear Implant day that fell on February 25.
This surgery marks the first step towards creating a safe environment to those with hearing imparity. The pandemic conditions under which the successful first procedure was conducted, reinstates the qualitative standards that the local healthcare system has, as one of the most affordable and best services in the Asian region. The successful bilateral implant surgery having been performed at a state hospital, also indicates the alignment to the state health policy that comes in par with the government’s health services objectives. As a result, Sri Lankans now have the opportunity to receive the treatment locally, and not having to resort to foreign healthcare services any more. The economic benefit for local patients, and the resulting upgrade towards State healthcare through medical achievements such as this, also marks Sri Lanka in the world map for modern health procedures. Subsequently, it will derive beneficial outcomes through avenues such as medical tourism, an aspect that both the state and private sector are looking to advance for the country.
Playing an important role in the Cochlear implant surgery is Wickramarachchi Hearing Care, sole agents for Cochlear in Sri Lanka. The company possesses valued experience and expertise in hearing healthcare, bringing the latest technology together, along with a sense of fashion. This milestone also stands as a perfect example for a successful collaboration between the state and private owned entities, working together towards enhancing services that would greatly benefit the public.