Presentation of Prof. George Tavartkiladze in St. Petersburg at the 1st Monsana Conference
The first part of the presentation is dedicated to neonatal hearing screening. The speaker
explains the different methods of hearing screening used in clinics and emphasizes the
necessity to perform neonatal hearing screening before mother and child leave the hospital. It
is the task of paediatricians to perform a hearing screening on all newborns and to do the
necessary further tests in case of hearing disorders to be able to give a precise diagnosis. A
rehabilitation programme needs to be defined before the age of 6 months. The decision of the
right method of treatment is of special importance. A treatment will be most successful if it
already starts in the first months of the baby’s life. Parents need to be advised how they can
and should communicate with their child that is most probably hearing impaired or deaf. After
the diagnosis suitable hearing aids should be fitted bilaterally. This is already possible from
month of life. The following three months will show if it makes sense to use hearing
If the use of hearing aids does not bring satisfactory results, the child can be a candidate for a
Prof. Tavartkiladze also speaks about the different varieties of hearing prostheses.
• Surgery (prosthesis)
• Electroacoustic correction
• Cochlear Implantation
Prof. Tavartkiladze further elaborates on the issue of cochlear implantation. In many cases the
cochlear implant is the most promising choice for the treatment of deafness. He presents the
possibilities of the technology, explains the criteria for the choice of patients, describes the
examination before the surgery, why magnetic resonance imaging is necessary, which are the
contraindications of a Cochlear Implant and possible complications that might result.
In the second part of his presentation Prof. Tavartkiladze tells about the current status of
development of diagnosing hearing disorders in newborns. Statistics show that 1 of 1.000
babies is born deaf; two develop deafness within the first two years of their life and 20 to 40
newborns have various hearing disorders. Early detection, diagnosis and intervention are an
absolute precondition for achieving best possible results.
Therefore it is that important to discover these problems by means of hearing screening. The
different methods of hearing screening and modern diagnostics are explained.
The third part of the presentation is dedicated to the cochlear implant as the most efficient
method of treatment of hearing impairments. Prof. Tavartkiladze explains the factors which
can influence the prognosis of success of a CI for patients.
Different varieties of electrodes are shown and it is explained how a CI works. New research
models of the CI were presented, especially a new concept for an electrode.
Also the issues that still require a solution are not forgotten:
• Broadened indications for the use of a CI
• Binaural Implantation
• Hybrid-fitting of CI and hearing aid (bimodal Stimulation)
• Sources for financing
In the end Prof. Tavartkiladze speaks about new research areas in Otology, especially about
genetic therapy and the application of stem cells.