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Looking to get implanted in DC area


StarStuff
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Hi all, 

I live in the Washington DC area and am planning to get an implant soon. I've had a progressive hearing loss all my life and am now at profound levels. My twin brother with same loss was implanted with Med-EL last July and has benefited a lot from it and encouraged me to get the Med-EL, which he did a lot of research on and found it to be the best fit for his/our hearing loss. Nice to have someone do the legwork for me... but, I still need to select a surgeon!

Johns Hopkins is the logical choice, but I know their program has been going through changes. I'm wondering if there is anyone on this forum who was RECENTLY implanted at JHU with Med-EL and can share their experience with me? Also wondering what other programs are good for Med-EL specifically. Duke and UNC seem to be recommended, but the distance makes me hesitate, and if it's not much of an advantage over JHU, what's the point, right?

Thanks in advance for your help!

-StarStuff  

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Hi Star Stuff,

I believe Megan L. had her surgery at Johns Hopkins.

 

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Welcome to Hearpeers!! Med el has a clinic finder tool on their website. If that helps. 

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Thanks for your replies. I appreciate it. I hope Megan L. sees this, If anyone else sees this who has good insight to the program at JHU and where it currently stands, that would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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What changes have you heard about?

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Can you tag someone in a message?

The late great Dr. John Niparko left JHU and went to USC in 2013. JHU was ranked #1 at that time for CI funding from NIH.

Dr. Howard Francis replaced Dr. Niparko. I believe JHU is still #1 in NIH funding and is a 2 processor CI center.

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I would suggest you choose a two processor center as having a back up processor is very helpful.

 

I go to New York Eye and Ear in NYC.

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Hi Starstuff! Welcome to the forum ? 

I was implanted in October 2016. At Johns Hopkins. I had the best experience and really can't say enough great things about my surgeon (Dr. Wade Chien) and my audiologist (Steve Bowditch). I live in Delaware and made the choice to drive an hour and a half to JH. Together they changed my life. I believe Dr. Francis heads the CI department and from what I've heard he is also really great.

Please let me know if you have questions! I'd be happy to answer and help as I've recently been in your spot ?

Good luck!

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Welcome to hearpeers!!! 

JH has an excellent reputation, I think you would be fine with whatever surgeon was blessed to have you as a patient. You should be able to check their bio as well as ask how many surgeries have they done. You are in total control of who you want. Don't be shy to ask questions

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Thanks so much for all of your replies. I am definitely leaning toward JHU now. From my *limited* research, the Med EL is the longest and most difficult electrode to implant and takes a skilled surgeon to do it correctly. I don't know if this is entirely true, but this is why I am being cautious in my selection of a surgeon. 

Hadron: I believe Dr. Francis actually just recently moved to Duke university, so that's a bummer as he was also very highly regarded. But I do know two people implanted at JHU by Drs. Chien and Li, and both of them reported good experiences; however, both of them have AB implants. I'm uncertain who the Med EL specialist is at JHU. I would certainly want the Dr. with the most experience and familiarity with Med EL. 

Megan: Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm so happy that your implant has been beneficial for you! I assume you got a Med EL implant. Did you ask your surgeon about his experience with the Med ELs?

 

Thanks so much, everyone.

 

-StarStuff

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Hi Starstuff,

Yes, I choose to get a Med El implant. I love music and that was just one reason I chose Med El. Believe it or not Dr. Francis was my second choice in case I didn't get good vibes from Dr. Chien. My surgeon, as well as the rest of the JH CI team, implant all 3 brands - Med El, AB, and Cochlear. Dr. Chien LOVES what he does. That is the one thing I remember him saying to me. He got my implant wrapped around the cochlea the first try. I'm extremely happy with his work and he preserved the little hearing I had left. 

 All the surgeons are extremely skilled and excellent at what they do. It's hard to narrow it down so I went based on their research and patient reviews - which surgeon's research and point of view would benefit me the most now and in the future.  For example: Dr. Chien runs a research group focusing on hearing rengeneration as well as music perception in CI recipients. These two things are very important to me. You can most definitely find a short bio and research history on all the surgeons at JH for CIs . http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/otolaryngology

Let me know if you think of anything else! Would love to hear how you move forward with JH and the CI!

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At New York Eye and Ear all of the surgeons implant all three brands of CIs too.  I believe that is common at large CI centers.  The audiologists also MAP all three brands of CIs.  Good luck on your journey and let us know what you decide.  Wishing you the best.

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Same here Mary Beth. Each surgeon does each brand. 

When I had to decide on which brand, I only had 2 to choose from as one was in a recall. 

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