What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant system is a medical option that can restore hearing for individuals with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss (from the inner ear) when hearing aids can no longer provide the clarity they need. The system consists of an outside-worn processor (like a hearing aid) and an internal portion that is surgically placed by Dr. Ashley Balaker at HOAG Irvine Hospital. Patients typically go home on the same day as the surgery. We work with the top three cochlear implant manufacturers: Cochlear Americas, Advanced Bionics, and MED-EL.
How does it work?
Cochlear implant systems change sound into electrical pulses. These electrical pulses stimulate the auditory nerve, and the brain interprets the pulses as sound. This way, the damaged portion of the inner ear is bypassed to provide a new pathway for hearing. Many physicians refer to them as "technological miracles" because currently, cochlear implants are the only medical technology able to functionally restore one of the five senses.
Does insurance cover it?
Yes, most insurance will cover the device and procedure. Medicare also covers the cochlear implant system under their candidacy guidelines. If you are determined to be a candidate, our insurance team will check and verify your insurance benefits to inform you about potential coverage.
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