Québec: 30-year anniversary of first cochlear implant


L’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec (part of the CHU), the oldest hospital establishment in Canada and America, recently celebrated the anniversary of the first multielectrode cochlear implant operation in the country. It was 30 years ago that the first cochlear implant operation in Canada took place. Dr Pierre Ferron led the ground-breaking operation at that time and since then, more than 1,800 implants have taken place at the hospital, in patients between 4 and 90 years of age. Today, about 180 patients recover their hearing every year through implant operations at the IRDPQ (Institute for rehabilitation and physical disability of Québec).

“The CHU of Québec and the IRDPQ have developed a unique collaboration between the surgery itself, initial programming of the cochlear implant, and its adjustment. This a major advantage for our patients since this synergy contributes strongly to the success of the operation and offers patients a treatment that is better adapted to their needs,” says Dr Richard Bussières, ENT surgeon at the Center.

L’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec is the only hospital in Québec that carries out this type of surgery. Because of the large number of patients, the establishment is the only place in North America that can offer access to several cochlear implant technologies, according to the news release. The multidisciplinary teams include ENT specialists, audiologists, speech therapists, psychologists and social workers. The teams at the institute and its partner organizations also contribute to training, evaluation and research in this area.

The IRDPQ has also been a key player in a decentralization program for functional adjustment of cochlear implants, involving the province’s various regions. The center’s teams have trained eight centers so far, enabling patients to access services in their own region.

Source: chuq.qc.ca.