Session moderator Paul Lambert, MD, chair of the depaertment of otolaryngology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, asked about the importance of timing with the second implant. “We don’t show good results with a second implant after five years in terms of language learning,” Dr. Niparko said. “In fact, there are some detriments in language performance over time.”
Explore This IssueApril 2015
Dr. Lambert also asked how patients are counseled on the length of the array when they might still have some low-frequency hearing they want to preserve. “A lot of hearing preservation patients, in fact, go on to lose their acoustic hearing,” Dr. Niparko said. “And so many of them, if they had it during preservation procedure, are going to have a relatively short array. … We have to find that compromise between an adequate length of an array and one that is reasonably atraumatic in the cochlea and is likely to give a higher incidence of low-frequency preservation.”
Other broader factors, he said, can be crucial, such as looking at scholastic performance, the child’s language learning, and how the patient is doing socially and emotionally with respect to the goals of the family. “You can make a decision based on those broader goals [as to] whether this is a child who needs more assistance relative to what they’re getting with a hearing aid.”
Tom Collins is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.