Intraoperative monitoring: In vestibular schwannoma, middle-ear and cochlear implant surgery

Project Leader:

Funding Agency: Oticon Foundation in New Zealand

  • $319,500 NZD
  • April 2015 to March 2018

Hearing research to improve care

12 May 2015

A University of Canterbury hearing researcher Associate Professor Greg O’Beirne has received a $319,500 Oticon Foundation grant to investigate the prevention of hearing loss during ear surgery.

The results of the research will benefit the large number of people undergoing ear surgery in New Zealand and overseas.

Associate Professor O’Beirne is a senior researcher at the university’s New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour. He is working with Canterbury District Health Board’s Associate Professor Phil Bird at Christchurch Hospital who says the grant will help provide better quality care for patients.

“Sometimes patients have problems with hearing and balance after surgery. This research will allow us to look at these issues and the interventions in a systematic way to get better results for patients,” Associate Professor Bird says.

The Oticon Foundation in New Zealand is a charitable trust which aims to improve the lives of hearing impaired New Zealanders. The foundation says their research is of such significant importance internationally that it is providing the funding for the three year project.

Associate Professor O’Beirne says ear surgery is successful at improving hearing and quality of life, but occasionally can carry some risk of hearing damage.

“Our project aims to reduce the likelihood of hearing loss occurring by improving the monitoring of hearing during surgery. If we can provide rapid feedback to the surgeon we have a good chance of reducing damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve during the procedure.

“Results from the study will be published in international peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national and international conferences. Our findings are likely to benefit not only New Zealanders, but all patients undergoing such surgery,” Associate Professor O’Beirne says.