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Cochlear Implant Program

The Cochlear Implant Program for adults and children is a keystone mission of the IU School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.  The program has a remarkable and long history of ensuring access for patients with an interest in cochlear implants, who would benefit from the technology.

The cochlear implant team is led by otolaryngology surgeons at IU School of Medicine and audiologists. In addition to new patients and surgery, the team manages cochlear implants for more than 2,000 people who have received the devices for both common and highly complex issues.

Pediatric and adult cochlear implant indications are expanding to include residual, low-frequency hearing who do not derive benefit from hearing aids as well as hearing loss in one ear.

Looking for Patient Care?

To schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist (ENT), call IU Health at 317-944-6467 or search the IU Health Find a Doctor portal.
490+ articles published on cochlear implants
100+ cochlear implant surgeries performed each year
5 physicians and scientists focusing on cochlear implant technology

Cochlear Implant Program Story

The Cochlear Implant Program at IU School of Medicine has a long-standing history of excellence dating back to 1979 when Richard T. Miyamoto, MD, implanted his first single channel cochlear implant device. At the time, cochlear implants were on the forefront of medical technology and the long-term effects of cochlear implantation were not known.  Under Dr. Miyamoto’s guidance, the program was established and continued to grow as the positive benefits of implantation became increasingly evident. As the clinical team began seeing these benefits, Dr. Miyamoto’s commitment to documenting the advantages of cochlear implantation was furthered with the development of the DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory. Dr. Miyamoto served as a spokesperson to the FDA for clinical trials to establish the efficacy for use of cochlear implants as an option for individuals with severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Throughout the years, cochlear implant technology has continued to improve. The program, located in IU Health Riley Hospital for Children on the Indiana University Medical Center campus, offers care to both adults and children. It remains a leader in this field of ever-changing technology. The surgeons, audiologists and speech language pathologists that comprise the team continue to provide the highest quality and state-of-the-art care to all individuals with cochlear implants, making it internationally recognized as a clinical center and research resource.

Part of the strength of the clinical program coincides with the cochlear implant research programs in adult and children, partnering with David Pisoni, PhD and William Kronenberger, PhD of the DeVault Otologic Research Lab. Combining advanced surgery with behavioral research examines the effects of assisted hearing on neurocognitive processes that accompany language development and language understanding. The team continues to provide care to children and adults with hearing loss who choose cochlear implants as their hearing intervention.

The Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery offers an educational seminar specific for practicing otolaryngologists, speech therapists and audiologists. This yearly program disseminates information regarding up-to-date indications for surgical intervention, as well as improvements in cochlear implant outcomes. The underlining goal is early identification and referral of cochlear implant candidates, so that patients can make informed decisions regarding options for hearing rehabilitation. As indications for cochlear implantation have expanded over time, IU School of Medicine Otologists recognized they were seeing more patients who could have benefited from a cochlear implant years ago, potentially avoiding years of struggling with hearing. The one-day seminar educates professionals in the field to help build provider relationships and to ensure their patients receive timely intervention in relation to hearing loss.

Attendees receive both CME and CEU credit and gained a greater understanding of unfolding technology, indications and outcomes for cochlear implant surgery and osseo-integrated devices for both bilateral and unilateral hearing loss.

Otolaryngology residents and neurotology fellows at IU School of Medicine participate weekly in a yearlong, intensive temporal bone simulation course, led by Rick Nelson, MD, PhD, which serves as the best model to prepare them for careers in otology and neurotology.

Medical students and residents are active research participants in the neurotology division; they present at national meetings and publish high-quality articles. Additional opportunities are available for medical students to gain mentoring experience through yearlong research fellowships in otology and neurotology. For more information, please email Charles Yates, MD.

Cochlear Implant Surgeons

12192-Yates, Charles

Charles W. Yates, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

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23096-Nelson, Rick

Rick F. Nelson, MD, PhD

Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

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