Profound nerve deafness is a major social and medical problem. It deprives a child of both hearing and the ability to develop speech, leading to a lifetime of communication disability. Implantation, in the absence of adverse clinical factors, permits integration into mainstream society with little difficulty. For the deaf mature patient, the loss deprives the sufferer of social contact and the ability to enjoy family interaction, music, the media and other avenues. Implantation is thus a major boon for the elderly, by restoring their lifestyle, which has been crippled by the loss of hearing.
Queensland Otology has been at the forefront of cochlear implantation in Brisbane since the implants received Federal approval for the use of implants in Australia in 1992. Professor Black was the initiating Implant Surgeon at Attune, Hear and Say, and the Royal Children’s Hospital implant programs and remains the senior surgeon of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital program. Surgery at the outset was neurosurgical in nature, often lasting several hours. During the following years we developed a system of least traumatic “Keyhole” implantation surgery that minimises surgical impact, particularly on the small child, and which may be performed in a half hour in most cases. With an experience of over 500 implants, we offer these techniques as world leading expertise.
Surgery, however, is only one facet of the implant process. A skilled team of surgeon, audiologists, speech professionals, psychologists and social workers is engaged in the process, to offer the patient or a child’s family a stress-free and professional service s far as is possible. To this end Queensland Otology works hand in hand with Attune (adult patients) the Hear and Say Centre and the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (paediatric patients), with whom we maintain close links. Professor Black is a founding partner of Attune, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Hear and Say Centre since its inception in 1992. Jane Black was the Chair of the Board for many years, is currently Deputy Chair, and remains a key member of several of its managerial committees.
Research and review are essential to ensure highest standards and cutting-edge expertise in the CI field. Both Professor Bruce Black and Dr Jane Black are the authors of multiple academic papers on cochlear implantation topics in the leading surgical journals.