Doctors say Rush Limbaugh's hearing surgery is a success

Saturday, December 22, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh's surgery to implant an electronic hearing device was a success, doctors said Thursday.

Limbaugh, 50, is a Cape Girardeau native and brother to David Limbuagh. He lost his hearing in the spring because of an autoimmune inner-ear disease, should be able to hear sound again within the next few weeks, doctors said.

The talk-show host still faces several weeks of recovery for the incision to heal, said Dr. Antonio De La Cruz of the House Ear Clinic/House Ear Institute in Los Angeles.

Limbaugh underwent the two-hour procedure Wednesday at St. Vincent Medical Center, across the street from the institute.

"I feel great," Limbaugh said in a statement. "The surgery went smoothly, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the holidays and returning to the air in early January."

He is scheduled to return to the clinic in a few weeks to be fitted for an external unit for his implant.

Limbaugh's condition causes the body's immune system to launch unusual attacks on the inner ear, leading to inflammation of the area.

He has continued broadcasting since losing his hearing. His callers' comments are quickly transcribed so he can read and respond to them.

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