A St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital patient has undergone the first minimally invasive implantation of a revolutionary hearing device.  Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon, Dr Suresh Mahendran made this landmark surgery a success at St Andrew’s, for local Warwick patient, Ms Karine Preston.

Karine who is 45 years old, underwent the surgical first which has enabled her to hear from her right ear for the first time in over 30 years.  Toowoomba Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon Dr Suresh Mahendran, has been able to offer Karine the opportunity to improve her hearing to nearly 100%, using a device called the Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS).

The Ponto System takes advantage of the natural sound conducting properties of bone.  It uses the body’s ability to transfer sound through the bone, and sends sounds to the inner ear, completely bypassing any problems in the ear canal or middle ear to enable the patient to hear more naturally.

The implantation is a day surgery procedure which only takes about 15 minutes and can be carried out under local anaesthetic.  A circular incision is made that matches the abutment exactly, without the need for further incisions. The abutment provides the attachment for the sound processor.  The Ponto sound processor has been designed to give patients a more natural perception of sound, and can be taken off when not in use, for example during sleep.

Dr Suresh Mahendran, Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon used specially designed instruments for the procedure which leaves the skin around the incision intact with no stitches, resulting in a quicker healing time and no scarring.

Pictured: The new minimally invasive Ponto implant.
Pictured: Dr Suresh Mahendran and patient Karine Preston after the successful “switch on” of the Ponto device