Yes. Patients have flown internationally to get a cochlear implant from Dr. Ruffin. The rate of complications is low and patients can generally leave the day after surgery.
Most patients elect to have their audiology appointments done locally. Their cochlear implant evaluation is done with their own audiologist where the patient lives. If you are a candidate, you fly to Dr. Ruffin for surgery and leave the next day. A week later, Dr. Ruffin examines the incision via a telemedicine appointment. Activation and subsequent mappings (fine tuning) is done by the local audiologist.
There are three ways to structure your visits with Dr. Ruffin. The key difference is whether you want to (1) keep your local audiologist or (2) fly to Dr. Ruffin's office for all care. In both cases, you'll need to send your records to him for review before your appointment:
(1) You want to keep your local audiologist and just travel to Dr. Ruffin for surgery
- You know you want a cochlear implant and have a good understanding of how to get a CI, the healing process, potential complications, and have informed expectations about what a cochlear implant will do for your hearing. If you're one of these patients, you can have an "all in one visit" to Seattle for the preoperative visit and have surgery the day after the initial visit. In this case, you send your records to us. If you are indeed a candidate, we schedule your preoperative visit with Dr. Ruffin and surgery for the following day.
- You're not sure if you want a CI or if you want Dr. Ruffin to do your surgery. In this case, we suggest a in person or telemedicine visit to Dr. Ruffin. We can then talk about your questions and decide your best path forward.
(2) If you want to have all care done at Dr. Ruffin's office, the first year of care will involve the following visits. Please note that these visits are an estimate. Some patients may require additional care.
- Cochlear implant evaluation and visit with Dr. Ruffin
- Postoperative check and cochlear implant activation
- Cochlear implant mapping at 2 weeks
- Cochlear implant mapping at 1 month
- Cochlear implant mapping at 3 months
- Cochlear implant mapping at 6 months
- Cochlear implant mapping at 12 months
Payment can be cash pay or insurance. For patients who use insurance and are outside Washington state, you'll need to have "out of state benefits". If you have questions about this, our office can help you determine coverage. Also see his helpful article about the cost of cochlear implants.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.