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More on the Med El DUET hybrid CI and on my CI

I was going to add this to the previous post but decided to start a new one here:

Hearing preservation was a goal of mine and my surgeon going into my CI surgery. We did implant the worse of my two ears, but I had a fairly significant amount of hearing in the lower frequencies. As a musician I’ve found that hearing aids work pretty well for music, so why not try to save that hearing?

They used the MedEl Medium electrode which contains 12 electrode pairs spaced more closely than the normal MedEl deep insertion electrode. For me, the electrode array was only inserted to 10 of the electrodes as deep as 20mm in order to save my low frequency hearing. Even so, this should give me plenty of stimulation from the CI alone.

On a related note, I finally understand exactly why I didn’t qualify for the MedEl Hybrid CI trials. The hearing aid part of the DUET processor is not designed for a profound loss. Simple as that. It doesn’t mean that I’m not a good hybrid candidate, just that the technology they are using is not as powerful as I would need. A regular hearing aid worn in conjunction with the CI processor would give me a similar listening experience as the hybrid, and we will be looking into that if it turns out that I have a lot of residual hearing left and like the way things sound.

I don’t have an activation date yet – but I think it will be some time next week. I’m scheduled to see the surgeon on Monday afternoon but we will be calling them on Monday morning to see if it is necessary to make the trip (3.5 hours each way) down there just to have my bandage taken off. One thing I missed in my drugged state post-op was that the surgeon told Don that we could remove the bandage ourselves “after the weekend” (Sunday night? please?). If all looks like it is healing fine, why drive that far for a 5 minute checkup? The main waiting point for activation at UNC seems to be the amount of swelling that you have – the magnet won’t stick if there is a lot of swelling. So my tentative plan is to reschedule for later in the week and do the post-op checkup and initial activation at the same time. We’ll see what they say Monday morning.

I’ve been very fortunate that my company has a short term disability benefit. I don’t need to return to work until I am quite ready. I have some reports to catch up on though so will probably work from home this coming week. I feel pretty good, but definitely don’t want to find myself in the (filthy) test lab gluing fiberglass cloth onto insulation until things are totally healed up.



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7 replies on “More on the Med El DUET hybrid CI and on my CI”

  1. Share

    Activation so soon?? Normally it’s 4 weeks after surgery, and you’re getting it in just 2. My doc said the same thing, we gotta make sure the swelling is completely down before firing the thing up.

    Nabeel’s last blog post: Post-op Day 2

  2. Share

    Sara says:

    I’ve known people activated as early as 5 days later…. not sure why this is changing as four weeks or more was definitely the standard…

  3. Share

    ‘… MedEl Hybrid CI trials. The hearing aid part of the DUET processor is not designed for a profound loss. ” That seems strange. I wonder why they would design the hearing aid part for anything but profound loss? Since, surely, only people with profound losses are candidates for the implant anyway.

    I’m finding that one of the best things about the implant is NO FEEDBACK! But I do sometimes hear feedback coming from my non-implanted ear. Would this be more of a problem with a hybrid where the feedback is coming from a distance of a couple of centimetres rather than from across the thickness of one’s head?

    Steve’s last blog post: Red Letter Day

  4. Share

    Sara says:

    Well, do give an update as to when you’ll be activated! 🙂 I’ll bother you on chat in a second, but I agree that you should give them a call before going down on Monday. Seems like a pain-in-the-ass to drive all that way for an “okay.”

  5. Share

    Mog says:

    Maybe the hearing aid part isnt for profound because if you had a profound loss then you would need a CI for those frequencies, so a hearing aid for those sections makes sense. My hearing at the very lowest frequencies is almost normal, but scoops down to 120 and beyond very quickly..

    I don’t think I am getting a hybrid, but they are hoping to preserve the low frequencies.

  6. Share

    when I saw Dr. Kelsall yesterday, he says activation is about 2 weeks after surgery with his patients. Cool! I’m pretty eager to keep trekking on through with my implant process. 🙂 Good luck!

    Meghan’s last blog post: SSI stuff

  7. Share

    Alan says:

    I’m being evaluated for the MedEl hybrid clinical trial. I should know in a few days if I qualify. I have enough low frequency hearing left that they think It would be a good option. Should know in a few days.

    Thanks Sara for your excellent blog. I like your detail explanations, probably from your engineer background. I’m a biologist, so like the details too.

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