500th Cochlear Implant | News | Loyola Medicine
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Loyola Medicine Performs 500th Cochlear Implant

Female patient with cochlear implant.
MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine's hearing center reached another milestone recently by performing its 500th cochlear implant.

The procedure was performed by John Leonetti, MD, one of four Loyola otolaryngologists who have extensive experience in cochlear implant surgery.

cochlear implant is used in patients with sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by a disease or lesion affecting the inner ear or auditory nerve. The device bypasses damaged parts of the auditory system and stimulates the auditory nerve, enabling the patient to receive sound.

"Cochlear implants allow patients to hear much better, which can greatly improve their quality of life," said Sam Marzo, MD, chair of Loyola's department of otolaryngology, who also  performs cochlear implants along with Matthew Kircher, MD and Dennis Moore, MD.

Loyola is among the highest-volume centers for cochlear implants in the Midwest and was among the first centers to implant a hybrid system that combines a cochlear implant with a hearing aid. Loyola offers cochlear implants to patients who have normal or near-normal hearing in one ear (single-sided deafness), especially to those with debilitating tinnitus in the impaired ear. (Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ear.) Loyola also has been among the first centers in the country to offer other leading-edge hearing technologies.

"Cochlear implants have become standard treatments for patients with various degrees of sensorineural hearing loss who do not receive enough benefit from hearing aids," said audiologist chief Candace R. Blank, AuD. "But there's a common misconception that the devices are intended only for patients with profound hearing loss."
A conventional cochlear implant can benefit a patient who with hearing aids can understand as many as 60 percent of sentences. A hybrid system can be used in patients who with hearing aids can understand as many as 80 percent of words.
There's a strong association between hearing loss and anxiety, depression and dementia. But fewer than six percent of the approximately 1.2 million U.S. residents who are candidates for cochlear implants have the devices. One possible reason is that hearing loss is under-diagnosed. Only about 14 percent of people over age 65 receive a hearing screening during physical exams, and fewer than 12 percent of primary care physicians screen for hearing loss during annual physical exams. Also, adults who are not being sufficiently helped by hearing aids may not be aware there are other options.
Loyola Medicine audiologists excel at the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance conditions, and work closely with the patient's primary care doctor and other physicians. Loyola ear surgeons are nationally recognized for their outstanding outcomes in hearing loss surgery.


About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.