Malala undergoes surgery to restore hearing

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2013 05:05 hrs

London: Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai has undergone cranial reconstruction and cochlear implantation procedures, according to an announcement made by Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

A hospital spokeswoman said Malala's medical team were "very pleased" with her progress following the operations, which lasted for around five hours, reports the Telegraph.

Malala, 15, has been receiving treatment at the hospital since she was flown to Britain in October after being shot in north-west Pakistan for promoting girls' education.

Earlier on Wednesday, doctors at the hospital said that Malala was set to undergo surgery for what they hoped would be the last time.

Malala required the fitting of a custom-made titanium plate to repair damage to her skull, as well as a cochlear implant to help her recover hearing in her left ear.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said both procedures were routinely carried out at the hospital.

Dr Rosser described Malala as a "remarkable young woman" who had made great progress in her recovery. He also said she was fully aware of the threats the Taliban had made against her life. He said she is not naive at all about what happened to her and the situation in terms of her high-profile, adding that she is incredibly determined to continue to speak for her cause.

Dr Rosser said it could take between 15 and 18 months for any hearing to recover in her left ear but added that in time she would have almost normal levels of hearing following the surgery.

Malala was shot in the head and neck on October 9 last year, and the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, "grazing" her brain.

The hospital said Malala would continue her recuperation as an inpatient until she was well enough to be discharged. 

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