Hearing management

Updated 27 May 2015

Worcester girl gets new ears

Cassidy Sitella, a Grade 3 pupil from Nuwe Hoop Sentrum in Worcester was born without ears. However her life has now changed after she underwent reconstructive surgery.

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Cassidy Sitella, a Grade 3 pupil from Nuwe Hoop Sentrum in Worcester was born without ears. This is a rare congenital deformity called microcia and is where the external ears are underdeveloped or non-existent.

However her life has now changed after she underwent reconstructive surgery at Tygerberg Hospital to reconstruct her ears and Cassidy now no longer has to depend on a hearing aid to assist her poor hearing.

The surgery was performed as part of Smile Foundation’s Vodacom Smile Week.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Alexander Zuhlke operated on Cassidy and said that while her new ears would have no effect on her hearing ability, they would certainly have an impact on her self-esteem.  

He explained that the procedure of making the ear involved opening a pocket under Cassidy’s skin and then taking cartilage was taken from her ribs which was then carved into an ear framework and placed into the pocket under the skin. They then placed a tube underneath to suck the skin into the cartilage to form an ear.

A second-stage operation is planned to complete the ear.

Source: Cape Argus, IOL

(November 2012)
 

 

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Hearing Expert

Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

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