Delighted Patricia Duncan can now hear clearly for the first time in over 50 years after a pioneering operation to repair one of her ears.
Patricia, 59, was deaf in her right ear but now she can hear well through it, thanks to ground-breaking surgery by NHS Lanarkshire consultant Arun Iyer.
“It’s amazing to be able to hear through my right ear for the first time since I was a wee girl,” said Patricia, a nurse with the Glasgow-based care organisation the Mungo Foundation.
“My eardrum was badly damaged by an infection when I was six. I just put up with it throughout my life, even though I had to plug the ear with cotton wool in the shower because getting any water in it was agony.
“When I recently began to lose hearing in my good ear, I decided to something about it, and I had a hearing test at Wishaw General Hospital.
“My right eardrum was 95% damaged, and I needed an operation.”
Patricia, of Carstairs Junction, was relieved when ear, nose and throat consultant Mr Iyer told her about a new procedure that was less invasive and took less time to heal than regular eardrum repair techniques.
Mr Iyer explained: “Traditional surgery involves cutting a 3cm to 4cm piece of tissue either from the front or behind the ear and using it as a graft to repair the hole.
“With the new technique, I use an endoscope, a long tube with a camera on the end.
“Endoscopic ear surgery prevents the need for an incision in the skin, resulting in less pain.
“I insert the endoscope via the ear canal and watch where I am going on a screen.
“Once I reach the eardrum, I lift it, then cut a small graft from the lining of cartilage inside the ear, just in front of the ear canal. This graft is then used to patch the eardrum.
“Taking the graft here causes much less pain because the incision is much smaller, so the recovery time is much shorter.
“Patients can often go home the same day and can hear almost immediately as the ear doesn’t need to be packed with dressing.
“Of course, this procedure does not always cure deafness, but it does mean eardrum repair is more painless.”
Patricia had the operation done at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie.
Mr Iyer is now teaching his novel technique to other surgeons elsewhere in the UK.
Patricia can now hear the phone through her right ear
Mr Arun Iyer