Will I lose my residual hearing after cochlear implant surgery?

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Dr. Chad Ruffin

ENT Doc and CI Surgeon

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Will I lose my residual hearing after cochlear implant surgery?

This is dependent on which surgeon does your surgery. Dr. Ruffin aims to preserve hearing in every surgery. Immediately after surgery, Dr. Ruffin's overall rate of hearing preservation is 90%. Long term results also depend on how a patient's body responds to the electrode. This is because long term inflammation can cause hearing to decrease over time. Unfortunately, long term results are unpredictable.

Patients who keep their residual hearing can try combined cochlear implant and a hearing aid in the same ear. This is called "electroacoustic cochlear implant". This setup tends to do better than standard cochlear implant surgery. It is best for people with ski-slope hearing loss.

Electroacoustic CI was once performed using a shorter electrode called a "hybrid electrode". This hybrid electrode delivers the low frequencies. The low frequencies are delivered by the hearing aid worn on the same ear. Most surgeons no longer use the hybrid electrode. This is because some patients will lose the rest of their low frequency hearing and not have a CI electrode to deliver this needed information.

Today, surgeons are able to use standard length cochlear implant electrodes. This allows patients to access the low frequencies with a CI if they ever need to.

The ability of surgeons to preserve hearing is highly variable. Our program is able to keep hearing very close to their preoperative levels in 90% of patients.

Regardless of whether you use electroacoustic hearing or not, preserving hearing is important. See our article on why preserving residual hearing is important.

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Patient Reviews of Chad Ruffin, MD

Dr. Ruffin is committed to providing every patient with outstanding care. Hear what patients of Dr. Ruffin have to say about their experience with him.

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Dr. Ruffin was the first person in over 10 years to actually take the time to really listen to me. He took the time to figure out what’s actually going on without chalking it up to something simple and sending me on my way.

Liz H.

I really appreciated Chad's honesty with options, having surgery being a last result and most of all explaining everything in layman's terms. I couldn't be happier with my experience and really appreciate him getting to the bottom of my ear issue and making it feel better than it ever has!

Mathew M.

Dr. Ruffin was incredibly knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate. He took the time to fully understand the issues and was able to provide immediate relief. Nothing short of a miracle here. Furthermore, the entire team was very kind and professional. One of the best medical experiences I have had!

Brian F.