Improving lives, 1000 times

Associate Professor Catherine Birman, one of Australia’s most experienced and well-regarded cochlear implant surgeons from Macquarie University Hospital achieved a feat last week that must be heard to be believed: she completed her thousandth cochlear implant procedure.

“It is such an honour to be part of so many different people’s journeys to better hearing,” said Catherine.

The announcement of Catherine’s success speaks volumes about the importance of the cochlear implantation procedure in Australia – a country that harbours a historic perspective that cochlear implants are only for children, and not so much for adults.

“The cochlear implant is a modern miracle, allowing profoundly deaf children to learn to hear and speak. It is not only for children however, the cochlear implant helps adults throughout their lives to regain hearing and stay actively involved in work and their favourite activities. For the elderly, the implant can also return hearing, helping to minimise social isolation, depression and it may even reduce dementia.”

This milestone is another addition to Catherine’s many achievements, some of which include being the first female ear, nose and throat surgeon in Australia awarded the title of Clinical Associate Professor, for performing a cochlear implantation on the youngest patient in Australia, a three month old child, and for her expertise in many forms of implantable hearing devices.

In the future, Catherine would like to see an even greater enhancement of treatment strategies.

“I hope to see greater improvements in cochlear implant technology in the future, with even better outcomes and more people with hearing loss willing to embrace these wonderful medical inventions,” she concluded.

Learn more about Catherine’s clinical work and research.