Cochlear Implant Center

NYC Hearing Associates is the Cochlear Implant Center for Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital

MEETH CI Center Physicians

Darius Kohan, MD 

 
Dr. Kohan is Associate Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology at New York University School of Medicine, Director of Otology/Neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital/Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital (MEETH), Medical Co-Director of the Center for Communication (the former League for the Hard of Hearing), and voluntary attending surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Kohan is involved in educating medical students and residents at these institutions. In addition, he is involved in several research projects in Otology/Neurotology. Dr. Kohan also participates in the Cochlear Implant Centers Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. This affiliation allows Dr. Kohan the opportunity to provide his patients with the highest standard of care.
 
 

Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, FACS, FAAO-HNS

 
Dr. Sujana Chandrasekhar is the former President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She is currently Director of New York Otology, Director of Neurotology at the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center, Otologist/Neurotologist at the New York Head and Neck Institute, and voluntary faculty at Mount Sinai.  As such, she is at the clinical forefront in management of disorders of hearing, balance, tinnitus, facial nerve, and lateral skull base, as well as cochlear and Baha implants
 
 

Ian S. Storper, MD, FACS

 
Dr. Storper is an internationally recognized otologist/neurotologist. He specializes in medical and surgical treatment of ear disease, including hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, Meniere’s Disease, acute and chronic ear infections, cholesteatoma, tumors of the ear (including acoustic neuroma, glomus jugulare and carcinoma), tinnitus, and vertigo. He has particular interest in hearing restoration surgery, including stapedectormy, ossicular reconstruction and cochlear implantation. He has contributed innovative techniques in the area of laser stapes surgery, implantable hearing aids, surgery for Meniere’s disease, and surgery for cholesteatoma, tympanoplasty, and mastoidectomy. In addition to his expertise in otology, Dr. Storper maintains an active general practice in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat disorders).
 

Cochlear Implants

The Cochlear™

Cochlear, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, introduces today its latest innovation, the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor – the world’s first Made for iPhone cochlear implant sound processor and the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available on the market.

Advanced Bionics

Cochlear implants for children and adults – Advanced Bionics provides the world’s most advanced cochlear implant system to help you or your loved one hear. Advanced Bionics is a global leader in developing cutting-edge cochlear implant technology that restores hearing to those with severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Med-El

MED-EL is a leading manufacturer of innovative medical devices for the treatment of various types and degrees of hearing loss. As the industry’s technology leader in implantable hearing solutions, MED-EL products are the result of 30 years of focused research and a commitment by its founders to fostering a company culture of excellence.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial to substantial hearing to the deaf and hard of hearing. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses the damaged cochlea (inner ear) and directly stimulates the nerve of hearing, allowing individuals who are severely to profoundly hearing impaired to receive sound. Sensorineural (‘nerve’) hearing loss can usually be ameliorated with hearing aid usage. When the hearing loss is so severe that hearing aids are not adequate, cochlear implantation surgery is an excellent option.

 

Cochlear Implant Surgery

How Do Cochlear Implants Work?

Cochlear implants convert speech and environmental sounds into electrical signals, bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear, and send these signals to the hearing nerve. The implant consists of a small electronic device, which is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear and an external speech processor and microphone, which are worn behind the ear. The microphone picks up sound and the speech processor translates it into distictive electrical signals. These ‘codes’ are transmitted across the skin to the implanted electrodes in the cochlea. The electrodes’ signals stimulate the auditory nerve fibers to send information to the brain where it is interpreted as meaningful sound.

Who is a Cochlear Implant Candidate?

Implants are designed for individuals who cannot attain adequate benefit from a hearing aid. They must be 12 months of age or older. There is no upward age limit for cochlear implantation. Bilateral implantation (both ears)is now approved by the FDA as a safe and effective method of hearing restoration. For further guidelines and measurement please read our cochlear implant candidacy guide.

cochlear implant surgery

What is a Cochlear Implant Evaluation?

A cochlear implant evaluation assesses whether the patient is an appropriate candidate for this surgery or not. It is done by an implant team consisting of your otology surgeon, a cochlear implant audiologist, a radiologist, and, as needed, a social worker, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and/or an education specialist, who will give you a series of tests. These include hearing tests, CT scans, and other tests as indicated. To learn more please read out in depth article about cochlear implant candidacy.

Cochlear Implant Surgery

Implant surgery is performed under general anesthesia and lasts from two to three hours. An incision is made behind the ear to open the mastoid bone leading to the middle ear. The procedure may be done as an outpatient, or may (rarely) require an overnight stay in the hospital. Your doctor will discuss the details of the surgery with you.

When Will I Start Hearing?

About one month after surgery, your team places the signal processor, microphone, and implant transmitter outside your ear and adjusts them. This is the first time that you will hear after the surgery. They teach you how to look after the system and how to listen to sound through the implant. Some implants take longer to fit and require more training. Your team will probably ask you to come back to the clinic for regular checkups and readjustment of the speech processor as needed.

 

What Can I Expect from An Implant?

Cochlear implants benefits vary from one individual to another. Nearly all users find that cochlear implants help them communicate better through improved lipreading, and well over half are able to discriminate speech without the use of visual cues. Many implant users are able to use the telephone effectively. The earlier a child with congenital (from birth) nerve hearing loss is implanted, the more complete and timely will be their speech and language acquisition. For adult implant recipients, shorter duration of deafness is very important for better early implant outcome.

There are many factors that contribute to the degree of benefit a user receives from a cochlear implant, including:

  • how long a person has been deaf,
  • the number of surviving auditory nerve fibers
  • a patient’s motivation to learn to hear

Your team will explain what you can reasonably expect. Before deciding whether your implant is working well, you need to understand clearly how much time you must commit. A very few patients will not benefit from their implant.

FDA Approval for Implants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cochlear implant devices for both adults and children. Because implantation has been proven to be effective and safe since its first approval for adults in the mid 1980’s, the FDA has expanded criteria and now approves unilateral (one-sided) and bilateral (both sides) cochlear implantation in adults and children as young as age 12 months.

How Much Does a Cochlear Implant Cost?

The total cost of a cochlear implant including evaluation, surgery, the device, and rehabilitation is around $75,000. Because this is not a hearing aid and because it is FDA-approved for hearing restoration, most insurance companies provide benefits that cover the cost. Before you undergo surgery, our office will obtain the insurance precertification that is necessary to ensure that your health insurance company will cover these costs.

Summary

If you believe you or your family member is a candidate for cochlear implantation surgery, please make an appointment for a cochlear implant evaluation at one of our four locations. If the initial evaluation determines that you are probably a candidate for this operation, then we will arrange for you to be seen by one of the cochlear implant phsycians at Manattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, and to have a CT scan of your inner ears.

You will receive brochures and other information regarding the types of implants available and your options will be discussed in detail. As always, we aim to provide you with compassionate, comprehensive, and state-of-the-art hearing health care.

Rebecca Alexander

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Alexander
LCSW-R, MPH, PLLC
 

Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist and a disability rights advocate. She is currently accepting new patients in NYC to help guide you through the cochlear implant process. Rebecca Alexander is an author, psychotherapist, fitness instructor, volunteer, and extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf. Rebecca works with individuals, couples, and groups, specializing in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, and mood disorders. She wears cochlear implants that help improve her hearing.

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