A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into the inner ear (cochlea) of patients who have a profound hearing loss. It allows a patient to hear sounds that they otherwise would not.
After a cochlear implantation, patients are often able to significantly improve their speech recognition. Their ability to communicate with the world around them may be dramatically improved.
To be eligible for a cochlear implantation a patient must have a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss that can not be overcome with a hearing aid. The patient must be motivated and willing to commit to a program of ongoing postoperative speech and hearing evaluations and periodic examinations by the surgeon.
The most important reason patients seek a cochlear implantation is so that they can communicate with those around them. Patients who lose their hearing after they have developed speech are more likely to experience substantial improvement in this area. However even young children with congenital hearing loss are candidates for this procedure. Currently the lower age limit for this procedure is 2 years old. The reason for this is that the accurate determination of hearing level prior to age two is challenging and this makes it difficult to determine whether a hearing aid will help a child before the age of two. If a hearing aid provides benefit for a child they are not considered for cochlear implantation unless they are failing to develop speech.
Dr. Toso was one of the first surgeons in eastern Pennsylvania to perform this intricate procedure. Dr. Swigart is the director of The Reading Hospital and Medical Center Speech and Hearing department. Dr. Toso and Dr. Swigart direct the presurgical evaluation of patients seeking a cochlear implant, and work very closely with the patients after surgery to help them achieve the highest level of hearing possible. Together, Dr. Toso and Dr. Swigart have developed a program that has been restoring hearing in patients for 15 years., Dr. Winifred Kao, and Dr. Joseph Watson complete the team of surgeons involved in the cochlear implantation program.
The surgeons at Berks ENT Surgical Associates are the only physicians performing cochlear implantation in Berks County, PA. We are currently implanting the Nucleus 24 channel device, one of the most technologically advanced implants available.
Cochlear Corporation site
back to homepage