Cochlear Implants

Loren J Bartels MD FACS, Christopher J Danner MD FACS, and Kyle P. Allen MD MPH run one of the busiest and most respected cochlear implant centers in the State of Florida. We are a Best Doctors of America® based practice. Along with our team of doctoral level Audiologists you will find your time with us to be comprehensive and pleasant. Our team is here to support you throughout the entire process from your  initial consultation all the way to your follow up care and ongoing device maintenance and programming.

We are actively involved in design and research discussions with all three of the major Cochlear Implant companies, Advanced Bionics, Med-EL Corporation, and Cochlear Corporation, which allows us to offer early adoption of the newest technologies and programming techniques. Our center hosts regional Audiology training courses offered by each of these companies. We are confident we can help you find the best solution for you. We offer an extensive array of hearing solutions and help you determine the best options for your lifestyle. Come visit us today!

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear Implants are an electronic device that provides sound information to individuals with significant hearing difficulties. It works by stimulating the surviving auditory nerve fibers in the inner ear. Cochlear Implants provide auditory information directly to the hearing nerve.

The cochlear implant has both external and internal components. The external system includes a microphone, a speech processor computer, and a broadcast antenna. Our surgeons implant the internal components, an internal receiver antenna, an internal processor, and an electrode that inserts inside of the cochlea. Post recovery from the procedure one of our Audiologists will program the external speech processor for you. The processor is what picks up coded sound and converts it to the internal component in the ear, which sends the information to the brain.

The TV Series Healthy Body Healthy Mind (Episode 2401) recently produced a 30 minute program about Cochlear Implants. The program follows several patients and is a good introduction to the life changing world of cochlear implants.  “Cochlear Implants: Bringing Back the Joy of Sound”.

More About Us

Our pediatric and adult cochlear implant program offers the latest technology in implants on the market. We work with all three major cochlear implant companies: Advanced Bionics, MedEL, and Cochlear Corporation. Our program is composed of a multi-disciplinary team of hearing healthcare specialists. Tampa Bay Hearing & Balance Center coordinates care with multiple resources in the State including public and private schools, the Bolesta Center at USF, speech and language pathologists, social services for hearing impaired persons, and researchers in the area of cochlear implants, and nurses.

The initial evaluation, audiological testing, medical consultaion, preoperative consultation, and postoperative device programming are done at the Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance Center. For patients coming from a distance, we make every effort to schedule appointments all on the same day. We can also provide information on lodging that is available in the area.

Cochlear Implant Surgery

Implanting a cochlear implant involves a two-hour surgery, but time away from family in preoperative and postoperative care may exceed three hours. Prior to surgery, the patient, in consultation with the audiologist and the physician decide which ear will receive the implant. Only a thin area of hair needs to be shaved along the incision line. The surgeon creates a pocket in the skull behind the ear to accept an internal receiver. Under a surgical microscope, meticulous drilling through the mastoid bone accesses the cochlea. A small hole in the round window membrane opens the cochlea and allows insertion of the electrode array. With a special piece of equipment, tests of all of the electrodes assure that the device is functioning properly.