- History of cochlear implantation
The history of cochlear implantation in Bulgaria is associated with the close cooperation between CENTILLION OOD and MED-EL – the company that has put the developments and design ideas of the research team from the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria into practice. Electronic technology was constantly developing and the most advanced hearing implants were coming out on the global market.
Yet why weren't these latest prosthetics being implanted into Bulgarian patients? What followed was a series of repeated visits, discussions and meetings with representatives of government institutions, medical centres and non-governmental organizations working to support people with hearing impairment. Nobody was willing to acknowledge and believe in the success of the Cochlear Implant System (CIS).
In this context, in Vienna in July 1997, the first Bulgarian patient underwent such surgery made possible by private fund-raising. The attitude then gradually began to change – first that of medical experts and later that of the government in the form of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Minister and Deputy Minister of Social Affairs at that time.
The first two surgical procedures to be carried out in Bulgaria happened in June 1999. They were performed by Prof. Ivan Tsenev from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at University Hospital "Tsaritsa Yoanna – ISUL", Sofia. Today in Bulgaria there are more than 250 users of CIS produced by MED-EL.
Today all stages of cochlear implantation are performed at the three cochlear implant centres: the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at University Hospital "Tsaritsa Yoanna – ISUL", Sofia; MILITARY MEDICAL ACADEMY, Sofia; and University Hospital "Trakia", Stara Zagora. The specialists follow a four-stage cochlear implantation programme:
- pre-implant evaluations;
- post-implant programming of the speech processor;
- hearing and speech therapy.
The programme is highly successful and the good results reflect the level of expertise, professionalism and commitment of the doctors who are part of the CI team. The success rate is indicative of the hard work of the experts at the cochlear implant centres and of the good cooperation and mutual assistance with the producer MED-EL, whose CIS are used by most Bulgarian patients.
CENTILLION guarantees and secures the future of Bulgarian CIS users driven by MED-EL's company policy focused on the people and their future.
- Clinics in Bulgaria
- Rehabilitation centres