Zululand Observer - Weekender
New surgeon focuses on cochlear care
Dr Lungile Setoaba is Melomed Private Hospital’s new resident Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon.
She specialises in disorders of the head and neck, particularly relating to the ear, nose and throat.
ENT surgeons treat conditions like hearing loss, tinnitus, balance problems, tumours in the head and neck and airway problems, to mention but a few.
Dr Setoaba’s passion, however, is ear conditions.
‘I would love to bring a cochlear programme to Zululand,’ she says.
‘There is a great need for this type of treatment, especially among the rural communities, with too many people suffering from hearing loss.
‘Cochlear implants have the potential to completely change a person’s life.
‘The demand is here, as well as the expertise,’ she says, adding that this would be a project with wonderful fundraising potential.
Having completed her fiveyear studies at Wits University, Dr Setoaba graduated in May 2017.
The mother of an eight-weekold daughter recently relocated to Empangeni and looks forward to starting her new life in Zululand.
Her ENT practice at Melomed officially opened its doors in October.
‘Melomed has state-of-theart facilities that enable me to conduct numerous ENT procedures previously not available in the area,’ she enthuses.
‘We are equipped to offer a whole range of services related to the ear, nose and throat: the treatment of head and neck cancers, allergies and nasal problems, diseases leading to hearing loss, tonsillectomies and grommet implants, to name a few.’
Dr Setoaba is very excited about the ever-evolving field of ENT.
‘This is a very innovative field, with new techniques and technologies revolutionising procedures like skull base, ear and airway surgery,’ she says.
‘The most important aspect of my job is to help restore people’s senses.
‘The head and neck houses very important sensory organs that make life enjoyable.
‘The sense of smell, hearing and taste all involve the ENT surgeon who helps preserve them, and so are the functions such as breathing, swallowing and speaking. All these are connected and interrelated in more ways than most people realise,’ Dr Setoaba says.
‘This is why I chose this career: to help people live their lives to the fullest by preserving these basic but essential functions that life would not be enjoyable without.’