Loyola Medicine’s audiology team is expert in providing advanced surgical treatments for hearing loss. One of the surgical options available to Loyola patients is bone-anchored cochlear implants, also called osseointegrated hearing implants. This procedure provides a hearing solution for several types of hearing loss, including malformations of the external ear, middle-ear hearing loss, and deafness in one ear. Loyola performs more of these implantation surgeries than any other medical center in Illinois.
Your Loyola audiologist or otolaryngologist will evaluate your condition and perform a hearing test to determine if you are a candidate for bone-anchored cochlear implantation. A demonstration with a simulator will allow you to hear what speech will sound like through the bone-anchored hearing device.
Bone-anchored cochlear implant surgery usually takes place in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. During your surgery, a small titanium post is implanted in the skull behind your ear; then an external processor, which can be worn under your hair, is attached to it. This device converts sound to a vibration, which then is conveyed across your skull to the better hearing ear. The processor sends the signal to your non-functioning ear, as well as from your “good” ear. This enables you to experience the sensation of hearing from your non-hearing side.
Following implant surgery, your Loyola doctor will monitor your healing process closely. Once the surgical site is completely healed, your device will be activated and you will be able to hear immediately. Follow-up care requires you to clean the implant site daily. Additional appointments are set annually as needed.