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Hello from Florida


AlanJ
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Hello everyone, I`ve been wearing hearing aids for 15 yrs. but they no longer help. I`ve been told by 2 Audiologists that i need  Cochlear Implant. So , I have been researching the 3 brands and finally ended up here with Med El. My problem now is finding the right surgeon/clinic for testing and surgery. I am in SW Florida, and although there are several around that I have found ,it`s difficult to find information on the surgeon or his patients that they have implanted to get some input. How do you go about finding and choosing the surgeon and clinic? Most that I have contacted with questions ,want to schedule an appointment for testing and evaluation first ,but I don`t think my insurance would cover multiple evaluations . I`m new at this , so if anyone can offer any advice , or recommend a surgeon and clinic I would appreciate it.

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@AlanJ

welcome and wishing you the best on your journey.

 

@Jdashiell and @KittKatz are both in Florida.  Maybe they can help.

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37 minutes ago, AlanJ said:

Hello everyone, I`ve been wearing hearing aids for 15 yrs. but they no longer help. I`ve been told by 2 Audiologists that i need  Cochlear Implant. So , I have been researching the 3 brands and finally ended up here with Med El. My problem now is finding the right surgeon/clinic for testing and surgery. I am in SW Florida, and although there are several around that I have found ,it`s difficult to find information on the surgeon or his patients that they have implanted to get some input. How do you go about finding and choosing the surgeon and clinic? Most that I have contacted with questions ,want to schedule an appointment for testing and evaluation first ,but I don`t think my insurance would cover multiple evaluations . I`m new at this , so if anyone can offer any advice , or recommend a surgeon and clinic I would appreciate it.

I wore has for twenty years before getting CIs. As I progressed with has, having to get more powerful ones along the way. I was already psyched to get them. Music is and has been an important factor for me and I knew CIs would help. But it was a big step. I had a good contact with a MedEl rep, that often spoke to our HLAA chapter. So I got good information over those years before CIs. 
talking with you Audiologist that is helpful especially if that clinic deals with CIs. I recommend seeing a clinic that is associated with a research university. Tampa might be the closest for you on the west coast. I’m in Miami so I went to UMiami med. Still do for follow ups. 

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1 hour ago, Mary Beth said:

@AlanJ

welcome and wishing you the best on your journey.

 

@Jdashiell and @KittKatz are both in Florida.  Maybe they can help.

Thanks Mary Beth, I have been reading all the posts here for quite some time now , and learned a lot..

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1 hour ago, Jdashiell said:

I wore has for twenty years before getting CIs. As I progressed with has, having to get more powerful ones along the way. I was already psyched to get them. Music is and has been an important factor for me and I knew CIs would help. But it was a big step. I had a good contact with a MedEl rep, that often spoke to our HLAA chapter. So I got good information over those years before CIs. 
talking with you Audiologist that is helpful especially if that clinic deals with CIs. I recommend seeing a clinic that is associated with a research university. Tampa might be the closest for you on the west coast. I’m in Miami so I went to UMiami med. Still do for follow ups. 

Thanks Jdashiell, I actually already looked into the Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance center with a Dr. Bartels . It is not far from me and they are on my radar. Unfortunately they are not a 2 processor center. Not a complete deal breaker but it is important to me. I have also been recommended to Dr. Wazen at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota which is even closer, but I am having trouble finding any Med El implant patients . I do know that they do all 3 brands though. Also , I know that the Audiologist is very important also , one that is good with Med El. Maybe I am looking for too much here . I`m just very nervous about the selection. Right now the Med EL Rep that is working with me is looking into getting me connected with a couple of patients of a Dr. Patni in central Fl. but I am guessing they can`t find anyone from Dr. Wazen in Sarasota which is the closest and a 2 processor center.

 

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On 2/17/2022 at 3:10 PM, AlanJ said:

 So , I have been researching the 3 brands and finally ended up here with Med El.

HI - I 

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Alan J - I am in a similar situation and have my evaluation 3/2.  I have been feverishly researching as well. I am curious how you settled on Med El or whether you are still considering.  

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55 minutes ago, Rubella said:

Alan J - I am in a similar situation and have my evaluation 3/2.  I have been feverishly researching as well. I am curious how you settled on Med El or whether you are still considering.  

Hi Rubella,  for me, I like the fact that Med El has some of the softest and flexible arrays . Also Med El`s arrays are some of the longest which would give me more cochlear coverage including more of the bass sounds. The implant and array will be there forever so that was important to me. Being more flexible, then hopefully there would be less trauma. Also I am looking for a 2 processor center so I could have both the Rondo and the Sonnet. Naturally ,it all depends on what the surgeon says and the fact that if a longer array would work . There is a lot of information available . Do you have a Med El Rep. They can get you some very good material about their processors , arrays, and  accessories. A candidate book called Embark has a ton of information about all of this . A Med El Rep can provide this for you if you don`t already have it. As it stands . I`m still considering Med El, although I know that things could change depending on if there were any problems . It`s a hard decision to make , at least for me. I think you just have to go with the features that are most important to you. Right now , I`m still trying to find the right surgeon and clinic. Best of luck with your decision.

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Thanks Alan J, for sharing your thinking.  I have zoomed with my Med El rep and Advanced Bionics rep.  I originally had the same conclusion about the longer array options and flex array.  However, when looking closer at the comparison chart among CIs on www.cochlearimplanthelp.com, I learned that the flex 24 from Med El, for instance has almost the same "active" length of 20.9 mm as the AB Slim J.  I need to check on the flex aspect, but I believe it is.  I assumed that the flex 24 meant 24 mm.  I like the seamless streaming AND hands free connection offered by AB without an extra device.  AB does not offer an off ear processor though, which is a neg.  I am actually zooming with the AB engineer who has the AB patent for their off ear device (not currently available) to learn why it is not yet an option.  They all seem to meet similar new tech eventually.  As a guy on hearingtracker.com forum said - once it's in you will love it no matter what brand you choose, so don't overthink - you won't know the difference anyway.  I appreciated that bit of practical wisdom. good luck

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Alan J - I found this visual of the Med El arrays - actually quite helpful.  I see it indicates that the flex 24 is for EAS to maintain residual hearing. I will keep my mind open to Med El and AB. 

https://s3.medel.com/pdf/21617.pdf

I am looking forward to talking with a surgeon if I get that far.  All depends on anatomy of our ears, too.

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14 hours ago, Rubella said:

Thanks Alan J, for sharing your thinking.  I have zoomed with my Med El rep and Advanced Bionics rep.  I originally had the same conclusion about the longer array options and flex array.  However, when looking closer at the comparison chart among CIs on www.cochlearimplanthelp.com, I learned that the flex 24 from Med El, for instance has almost the same "active" length of 20.9 mm as the AB Slim J.  I need to check on the flex aspect, but I believe it is.  I assumed that the flex 24 meant 24 mm.  I like the seamless streaming AND hands free connection offered by AB without an extra device.  AB does not offer an off ear processor though, which is a neg.  I am actually zooming with the AB engineer who has the AB patent for their off ear device (not currently available) to learn why it is not yet an option.  They all seem to meet similar new tech eventually.  As a guy on hearingtracker.com forum said - once it's in you will love it no matter what brand you choose, so don't overthink - you won't know the difference anyway.  I appreciated that bit of practical wisdom. good luck

Rubella, My choices were also between AB and Med El. I have had connections with several AB Reps and did let them know my interest in the off the ear options like the Rondo . They did not say anything about the AB patent you mentioned  for an off the ear option not yet available. I would be interested in finding out more about that.  Also I don`t believe I have enough low frequency hearing for EAS , so I was hoping that something like the longer flex 28 would work.

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@AlanJ

My left side has the flex 28.  Great bass tones.

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17 minutes ago, AlanJ said:

Rubella, My choices were also between AB and Med El. I have had connections with several AB Reps and did let them know my interest in the off the ear options like the Rondo . They did not say anything about the AB patent you mentioned  for an off the ear option not yet available. I would be interested in finding out more about that.  Also I don`t believe I have enough low frequency hearing for EAS , so I was hoping that something like the longer flex 28 would work.

AlanJ - He sent me the PDF of his patent.  It is dated 2009, so it has been around.  My AB rep indicated that "when the sound it picks up off ear works as well as  our t mic feature - which is a tiny mike that hangs in the ear concha, sort of like the wire that connects the BTE but it doesn't sit inside the ear, - we will offer the off ear technology.  So, in marketing terms, that either means it truly is not as good at picking up and transmitting the sound, or it's not a current priority, they are in the process of coming out with it, or just aren't working in that direction, who knows.  It seems all of the brands eventually offer similar technology, so I would doubt it would be far off.  Off ear sounds super attractive, but going Med El also means I have to carry another gadget besides my phone to have hands free talking....flip the coin.  

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@Rubella

the competition between brands works in our favor often.

Med-El released the first single unit processor (Rondo) in 2013.  I believe Cochlear followed with their Kanso about 4 years later.  Both Med-El and Cochlear have released next generation one piece processors.  Med-El is now on Rondo 3.

I LOVE using my Rondo.  Sounds terrific.  So comfortable.  Excellent in waterwear in the ocean (I secure it to me.). So much easier with face masks.

 

Choosing brands was such a difficult process for me.  In the end I chose Med-El for their electrode arrays.  The internal components have the greatest impact on audio quality and will be with us for many, many years.  The external processors and connectivity options change so very quickly.

Wishing you the best on your journey. If you wish to see why I chose Med-El, here is a link to a captioned video.


Here is a link to my music journey with Med-El CIs in case that interests you.


Make the decision that is right for you.  These CIs are life changing.

7BDBB343-8AA2-4D5C-83F3-1C30885CCF8D.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Mary Beth said:

@AlanJ

My left side has the flex 28.  Great bass tones.

Do you notice a difference in the bass between electrodes since you have 2 different ones? How long did it take you to get the bass tones?

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@Jason77

Yes.  My flex28 ear has deeper bass tones.

How long did it take to get the bass tones?  I’m not sure.  That side started out loving music.  Things became stable at the 3-4 month timeframe.

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On 2/17/2022 at 5:29 PM, AlanJ said:

Thanks Jdashiell, I actually already looked into the Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance center with a Dr. Bartels . It is not far from me and they are on my radar. Unfortunately they are not a 2 processor center. Not a complete deal breaker but it is important to me. I have also been recommended to Dr. Wazen at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota which is even closer, but I am having trouble finding any Med El implant patients . I do know that they do all 3 brands though. Also , I know that the Audiologist is very important also , one that is good with Med El. Maybe I am looking for too much here . I`m just very nervous about the selection. Right now the Med EL Rep that is working with me is looking into getting me connected with a couple of patients of a Dr. Patni in central Fl. but I am guessing they can`t find anyone from Dr. Wazen in Sarasota which is the closest and a 2 processor center.

 

 

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I live in Pittsburgh Pa me personally would put the 2 processor unit back on your radar I had a processor go bad on me on a weekend luckily I had a back up  and for a new replacement to arrive it can be couple to 3 days I have MEDEL great customer care and very responsive . Don’t forget it’s electronics anything can go wrong at anytime.

BACK UPS YEA,,

Good Luck 

 

 

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Back up processors are terrific.  But I would choose a competent CI surgeon and very skilled CI audiologist over getting a second processor.  This back up provided by 2 processor centers, is shrinking in availability as more CI centers change to one processor centers.  
 

After the first 5 years or so, when we upgrade we will keep the older processor as our backup (in the US).  So we will end up with a back up processor.


Upgrade kits through our insurance are for 1 processor per CI ear.

 

If you are near a competent CI 2 processor center, that is ideal.

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