LYNBROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman has her hearing back thanks to a cutting-edge implant procedure.
Lizbette Martinez of Lynbrook has been hard of hearing for 17 years and became deaf in her right ear in 2011.READ MORE: Comedian, Actor Louie Anderson Dies At 68, AP Reports
“To be told that you lost your hearing completely is devastating,” Martinez said. “I had normal hearing, but I did have some ear infections when I was younger. And I woke up one morning and I was bleeding from my ear.”
That’s how it started for Martinez. Removing the tissue growth that caused the bleeding left her hearing impaired in her right ear.
Then, a couple of years ago, things got worse. Doctors discovered that Martinez’s brain had pushed into her middle ear and they had to surgically close her entire ear canal.
“So I went from having hearing, to a little bit of hearing, to no hearing at all,” Martinez said.
But after much Internet research, Martinez found Dr. Anil Lalwani, who implanted an unusual type of hearing aid — into her skull bone, right behind her deaf ear. Last month, she became the first person in New York City to get the Sophono, a thumb-sized sound processor that is held in place by a magnetic implant.
The device was activated Wednesday by her doctor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
“The implanted metal plate that’s beneath her skin and it vibrates the plate just through close contact,” Dr. Dean Mancuso said.