Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Mayo Clinic accepts appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System sites.

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  • Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic hearing specialists have special training in auditory brainstem implant surgery. Mayo Clinic is one of only a few medical centers to offer this uncommon treatment for rare types of hearing loss.
  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists work together with audiologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons to assess whether an auditory brainstem implant is right for you, to place the implant and to help you learn how to use it.
  • Efficient, comprehensive care. Your treatment team will schedule all the necessary testing and doctor's visits for diagnosis and surgery, often within a few days. They will also coordinate your follow-up rehabilitation sessions with the audiologist.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks #1 for ear, nose and throat in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., is ranked among the Best Hospitals, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for ear, nose and throat by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

About auditory brainstem implant

How it works

Auditory brainstem implants have three main parts:

  • A tiny microphone positioned by the ear to pick up sounds
  • A decoding chip placed under the skin to transmit information picked up by the microphone
  • Electrodes connected directly to the brainstem that, when stimulated, alert you to sound

Surgery and therapy

The surgery is often performed at the same time tumors are removed from the auditory nerves. After surgery, you will need multiple sessions with an audiologist to adjust the sound processor and learn how to use and interpret the signals. This process can take many months. You will typically see an audiologist every two to four months the first year and annually thereafter.

An auditory brainstem implant doesn't restore normal hearing, but it helps most people distinguish sounds such as telephone rings and car horns. Some people get good word recognition, while others get more general sound cues. In combination with lip reading, the cues can improve your communication with others.

Feb. 27, 2013