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Pearls for Performing Cochlear Implants

Advanced Cochlear Implantation: Obstructed and Malformed
1:15 pm, Today
Room 282

Explore cochlear anatomy and review surgical tips and pearls for performing cochlear implants in patients with ossified and malformed cochlea during this afternoon session.

The evolving field of cochlear implantation over the last 30 years includes improved patient expectations and outcomes.

A small percentage of patients, those who have abnormal anatomy either due to a birth defect or postinfectious scarring, have historically underperformed compared to patients with normal anatomy. In many cases, surgery may not have even been offered, and when it was, patients were frequently required to travel great distances to receive treatment from the few surgeons who had developed expertise in treating this patient population.

“For many years, only a few surgeons in the world were attempting these types of cases,” said Daniel H. Coelho, MD, lead presenter with the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems and the VCU Cochlear Implant Center. The impetus of this Expert Series, he said, is to change that. With a proper understanding, he said surgeons can safely perform these kinds of procedures.

J. Thomas Roland, Jr., MD, copresenter with the New York University Cochlear Implant Center and the NYU School of Medicine, added that as surgeons increase their understanding of the anatomical considerations and unique surgical techniques, they will be able to maximize results and outcomes for this small, unique patient population.

Although the number of patients with malformed and ossified cochlea is small, telling them there is no treatment available or they will need to travel a considerable distance in order to receive treatment is difficult. To an already scared patient or his or her parents, considerations like travel and the financial burden of doing so can make it even harder to get potentially life-changing treatment.

In addition to offering tips on performing the procedure, speakers will provide an overview of the patient population as well as give tips for postoperative care and implant programming. The goal, said Dr. Roland, is to “describe safe and effective considerations and techniques that minimize complications and maximize positive outcomes.”

“The vast majority of patients have normal anatomy. It’s for the relatively small percentage of patients that we are hoping to improve surgeon comfort—thereby maximizing patient access to this technology,” said Dr. Coelho.

The target audience for the Expert Series is for beginner as well as experienced surgeons who want to offer the cochlear implantation.

“With proper technique, implanting malformed and obstructed cochleae can result in favorable outcomes,” said
Dr. Roland