You make a difference: Dr. Sumit Agrawal

Dr. Agrawal

Restoring sound

When Dr. Sumit Agrawal, MD, FRCS(C), observed a cochlear implant procedure as a medical student, he immediately knew it was his calling. He viewed it as one of the few specialties where you can give someone back their hearing—a whole sense. Today, he is the interim Chair/Chief of the impressive Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Co-Director of the Auditory Biophysics Laboratory. With the help of generous donors, Dr. Agrawal and his team are reshaping the future of auditory health care.  

A cochlear implant is an electronic device surgically implanted to provide the sense of sound to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.  

“Whether it is a young child who was born deaf or someone who lost their hearing later in life, it is so meaningful to witness their quality of life improve.”                                       
- Dr. Agrawal 


  • 1 in every 10 people are expected to have disabling hearing loss by 2050 
  • LHSC offers one of only three cochlear implant programs in Ontario 
  • LHSC is one of the few unified cochlear implant programs that services both adults and children

First-of-its-kind clinical trial 

Dr. Agrawal and his team are currently running a randomized controlled trial to test their customized mapping tool for cochlear implants and its direct patient benefits. The researchers hope to greatly improve the sound quality and listening experience by tuning the implant to fit each person’s unique anatomy.



Dr. Lorne Parnes starts the Cochlear Implant Program at LHSC 


Dr. Parnes performs the first paediatric cochlear implant in Ontario 


LHSC completes the first MED-EL cochlear implant in Canada 


Dr. Agrawal performs the first BONEBRIDGE bone conduction implant in North America on patient Kelly Dickson 


Getting this implant has been life changing      
      -Taryn armstrong 

After struggling with Meniere’s disease for over a decade, Taryn Armstrong enthusiastically joined the trial as patient #1. The implant, paired with Dr. Agrawal’s study, exceeded all expectations and she now happily reports clear, distinct sound. So far, 10–15 patients have been enrolled in this novel trial, with a total enrolment goal of 30 patients. The emerging insights from this research offer hope to millions of individuals who are presently experiencing hearing loss and those yet to be affected.

Whats next?

Anticipating the future, Dr. Agrawal is positioned to orchestrate a symphony of advancements in otology. Future developments in cochlear implantation include electrodes that release steroids to reduce inflammation, robots to precisely guide implant insertion to minimize trauma and stem cell therapy to help regrow hair cells and nerves in the inner ear. Because of donors, Dr. Agrawal is empowered to pursue groundbreaking research avenues, leading to improved patient outcomes and a future where everyone has access to sound.  


If you would like to learn more or continue to support the pioneering Department of Otolaryngology, please contact:          
Bre Thompson | Development Officer | London Health Sciences Foundation | 519.280.4774

email Bre Thompson Donate