Loyola Medicine’s hearing center reached another milestone recently by performing its 500th cochlear implant, the Illinois-based hospital announced.

The procedure was performed by John Leonetti, MD, one of four Loyola otolaryngologists who have extensive experience in cochlear implant surgery, according to the announcement. A 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 said to be 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 is also said to have 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.”

Source: Loyola Medicine