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Deafness and severe hearing loss have a major impact on the quality of life. Patients with sensorineural hearing loss may benefit to a great extent from implants in the cochlea of the hearing apparatus, the so-called cochlear implant. Many patients have successful operations and can resume with their day-to- day activities. Children who are born deaf may successfully acquire the faculty of speech and attend normal schools after receiving cochlear implants.
Why choose for treatment by the Cochlear Implant Team at Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands?
The Erasmus MC is the largest tertiary care and academic hospital in the Netherlands. Our specialist team, founded in 2000, has a lot of experienced professionals working for the implant program, and has placed more than 500 cochlear implants since its inception.
The Sophia Children’s Hospital is the largest academic paediatric hospital in the Netherlands and operates under the Erasmus MC. We have set up a specialized paediatric cochlear implant program at the Sophia Children’s Hospital. Our hospital can proudly offer the services of highly specialized medical professionals for the treatment of complex and rare diseases in both adults and children.
What we do at the Cochlear Implant Program at Erasmus MC and the Sophia Children’s Hospital
We, the cochlear implant team, are committed to fulfil your needs regarding cochlear implants for deafness and hearing loss with the highly skilled and experienced physicians and medical staff at the Erasmus MC hospital. The cochlear implant team places implants, but also offers hybrid hearing solutions , for example through electro-acoustic stimulation (EAS).
Our paediatric cochlear implant program is located in the Sophia Children’s Hospital. We are very well equipped and staffed to serve children, and have a lot of experience with paediatric patients with complex medical needs as well as those with auditory neuropathy and deafness due to meningitis. We also have experience treating children with malformed inner ears and other surgically challenging anatomy.
- Children who were born with or have developed severe cochlear hearing loss from an early age (prelingually deaf children).
- Adults with profound bilateral cochlear hearing loss or deafness who have developed speech understanding in their early life (post-lingually deaf adults)
Of course, you can always contact us for any other disease or disorder related to the ears and auditory apparatus!
Cochlear implants are beneficial to patients with severe hearing loss or deafness due to damage to the hair-like sensory cells that line the inner ear, also known as the cochlea. Eligible patients generally do not have problems with the auditory nerve. Problems with the middle-ear and outer ear are addressed at a different department.
The cochlear implant is cord-like electrode which conducts sound signals from a processor behind your ear, into the cochlea, where it transmits an electric impulse to the auditory nerve.
Treatment is initiated with an extensive intake to explore the specific needs of the patient. The implantation operation itself is a 2 to 3 hour surgery, conducted while the patient is under general anaesthesia. All CE approved cochlear implant systems are available.
Progress to full speech and auditory comprehension of patients who received cochlear implants largely depends on age of onset of deafness, combined with duration of time passed since the last auditory experiences. Guided rehabilitation is of primary importance in exploiting the full potential of the implants.
Hybrid solution: electro-acoustic stimulation
Some patients have a faculty of hearing which is limited to sounds of very low frequencies. In these patients, a special type of cochlear implant can be used, which contains a hearing aid. The cochlear implant’s special electrode, in this case, has a length and sound coverage limited to the higher frequencies which the patient does not hear, while the hearing aid section magnifies the low frequencies, which the patient can then hear with his/ her own sensory cells.
Such an implant spares the part of the cochlea which still has functional sensory components. The type of auditory experience generated with this type of implant, is called electro-acoustic stimulation (EAS).
Cochlear implant follow-up care
All CI patients are scheduled for several follow-up appointments that include a post-operative check-up and surveillance. In addition, we provide comprehensive rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitation is important to facilitate the patient’s optimal recovery and reintegration into society: cochlear implants and gains in hearing can significantly impact the patient’s life. The patient must also learn to deal with possible limitations he or she may encounter while learning to live with new auditory experiences. We collaborate with (inter)national patient organisations to ensure that each patient receives proper further follow-up and a support system.
More about the Cochlear Implant Team at Erasmus MC
To ensure that our patients receive the most comprehensive care, we have established a multidisciplinary team of ENT-doctors, audiologists, speech- and language therapists, psychologists and social workers, who work together to provide top quality diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services in all areas of cochlear implantation. The team approach allows for a comprehensive evaluation of cochlear implant candidates and patients who already have one.
Our Medical Expertise
Our treatment protocols have been validated by the Dutch Cochlear Implant Group (CION) and are regularly updated according to new evidence, institutional experiences and through continuously on-going research. Our program participates in ongoing research projects allowing us to offer and evaluate current and future technology for cochlear implantation. Our current research projects focus on the evaluation of different hearing optimization strategies.