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A patient may be a candidate for an implantable hearing device if they have not benefited or cannot benefit (for medical reasons) from a hearing aid. Implantable hearing devices help those with conductive/mixed hearing loss or sensorineural deafness.

History of the Penn Implantable Hearing Device Program

The Penn Implantable Hearing Device Program began more than 30 years ago and provides more cochlear implants and bone conduction systems than any other center in the Philadelphia region. The Penn Medicine Implantable Device Team consists of world-renowned neurotologic surgeons and the most experienced implant audiologists. When it comes to implant selection, surgical implantation and device programming, experience counts. Our specialists performed more than 120 cochlear implants last year alone.

Since the program's inception in the 1980s, Penn has been a participant in research and clinical trials. Through our clinical research, we are involved in investigating ways to increase candidacy criteria and improve outcomes for those in need of implantable hearing devices.

Implant Options and Evaluation

Penn's Implantable Device Program is the only center in the region that works with all three cochlear implant manufacturers.This allows patients to have every implant option available to them and allows the team the ability to choose the device that is best for each patient's unique anatomy and communication needs. By working closely with implant manufacturers, we are able to provide our patients with additional support, such as manufacturer-sponsored patient workshops and training sessions.

To determine if you are a candidate for an implantable or alternative hearing device, we conduct comprehensive evaluations – both medical and audiological. Your audiologic evaluation may consist of an audiogram, an evaluation or your hearing ability with hearing aids, and in some cases, a balance study. Your medical evaluation by consist of a CT and/or MRI scan of the inner ear. Following both evaluations, you will have a detailed consultation session with an implant audiologist and an implant surgeon to discuss your best course of action.

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