Prince Albert II has inaugurated a new facility dedicated to treating and understanding hearing and balance issues in Fontvieille. Otoneuro Monaco is lead by the former head of the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace’s otorhinolaryngology department.
The former department head at CHPG’s ear, nose and throat (ENT) unit has decided to take his vast expertise and put it to use for the local community with the opening of Otoneuro Monaco, a new care centre for hearing and balance disorders.
The office opened in January at the Athos Palace in Fontvieille and is a soothing environment by any standard: pod-like sofas, light wood walls and neutral colours welcome patients into a well-lit and modern facility whose cosiness belies the high-tech inner workings.
Otoneuro is equipped with state-of-the-art tools including virtual reality masks, hearing test rooms and a special chair made specifically to test reactions in relation to balance.
Doctor Lavagna is also offering a new treatment option for the once-untreatable disorder of tinnitus and similar issues. The bimodal neuromodulation approach involves the stimulation of a patient’s tongue with an electrode over half-hour sessions, which allows the team at Otoneuro to “permanently reprogramme the auditory brain areas”. Lavagna says the treatment provides some, if not total, relief in 90% of the patients he sees.
Otoneuro is the first otoneurology facility to be authorised by the makers of the equipment, an Irish company called Lenire, to prescribe this type of treatment in France and Italy.
During the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday 6th February, lead by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dr Pierre Lavagna underlined “how lucky I was to be born in a country where our sovereigns, for a long time, have made science and medicine one of their greatest priorities, and thanks to their action allow the emergence of projects of excellence such as the Princess Grace Hospital, the Cardio Thoracic Center, and IM2S. Visionaries like Professor Dor or Dr Philippe Ballerio showed us the way, I modestly try to follow in their footsteps.”
Additionally, the team at Otoneuro are actively involved in research projects and work in collaboration with complementary practitioners to ensure people suffering with symptoms of not only of tinnitus but other issues such as deafness, hyperacusis and vertigo are given the best possible results.
Patients are not required to go through their GP before making appointments, and can directly contact the facility. Assessments for hearing cost around €150 and €250 for balance. Some of the treatment options are covered by insurance, but some are not, so the centre suggests asking about costs before proceeding.
For more information, visit: https://otoneuromonaco.com/en/
Photos credit: Axel Bastello/Palais princier