The Gift of Sound: Montreal Children’s Hospital becomes first hospital in North America to install new bone-anchored hearing implant in teenage patient

Press release

For immediate distribution

Montreal, November 20, 2015 – Fifteen-year-old Karina Théorêt was born deaf in her right ear. As a toddler, doctors confirmed that her hearing loss could not be restored. But a few months ago, Dr. Sam Daniel, director of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital told her about a new surgical technique, called Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS). “I had just learned about this new technique and thought Karina would be a perfect candidate,” says Dr. Daniel. “The procedure has been evaluated in Europe, but this is the first time it’s been done in North America.”

Advantages of minimally-invasive surgery

MIPS is designed to minimize complications during and after surgery and leaves no scarring since it’s a suture-free operation. The bone-anchored hearing implant is placed 50 mm from the ear canal and is barely visible under the hairline. The 10-minute surgery only requires local anesthesia and the patient can go home the same day. “During the procedure, the patient may feel pressure or vibrations similar to an electric toothbrush, but they don’t experience any pain,” explains Dr. Daniel.

Simple surgery, new lease on life

Even though Karina never let her disability get in the way of her education or competitive swimming, she still had moments of frustration. “I’m looking forward to no longer reminding people to move to my good side,” she says. “At school, I always had to think about where to sit or I’d be stuck moving my head 180 degrees to hear a conversation.” The Île-Bizard teen can now focus on her dream of becoming a surgeon. “Karina read everything she could about this surgery and watched YouTube videos about it. She made the decision to get the implant,” say her parents Stacey Hoirch and François Théorêt. “We can’t even imagine what it feels like to go from not hearing to hearing.”

To book an interview with Dr. Sam Daniel, Karina Théorêt and her family, please call:

Stephanie Tsirgiotis

  • Public Relations and Communications
  • The Montreal Children’s Hospital
  • 514-412-4400 ext. 23870 (office)
  • 514-922-5696 (cell)