CI Decision and Insertion (part 2)

After returning from the Maldives I went to my ORL-clinician. Sadly he could only confirm my 90+% hearing loss on the right side. I took Cortisone and Tebukan (a Ginkgo-product that my clinician recommended) for some weeks before finally it dawned on me that my hearing on my right ear won't come back. So I talked to my ORL and contacted Heinz Werder a former coworker of mine who is next to other responsibilities the MD for Advanced Bionics in Switzerland.


Prof. Linder and Dr. Cadreia invited me to the general Hospital of Lucerne/Switzerland for e thorough examination with following consultation regarding the possibilities of Cochlear Implants. As a longtime employee of Sonova and after all those consultations it became clear to me that it is gonna be a Advanced Bionics Implant. The dat for the Insertion has been fixed on April 27th. 2020 but due to the Covid-19 Pandemic it was cancelled again.


Even though I could cope with the situation quite well and it didn't affect my work as a fitting audiologist or hearing car specialist, my wife complained more and more about me not understanding her. Especially in the car, me driving (sitting on the left side) my wife had repeat nearly everything she said, as I simply didn't get it the first time. Another very unsatisfactory situation was going to a restaurant together with my wife and my two boys. Even though I tried to choose the corner so I had my good ear towards my family i simply could not follow most conversations.


It was somehow strange but I felt that the spatial hearing didn't vanish at once but grew worth over time. More and more often I had to ask my wife to point out the direction where my mobile phone was lying as I couldn't really make it out myself anymore. My kids started to make make fun of me while hiking as the car I warned them about as I was sure it was coming our way, passed us on a road further down or even on the other side of the valley.


As finally they eased some of the restrictions regarding the Corona Lockdown, the general hospital of Lucerne invited me to the final BERA (Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry) and confirmed June 8th. 2020 as the date for the surgery.


Heinz Werder took note too and as he wanted to join us for the surgery I asked him if he could take some fotos. Thanks the admission granted by Prof. Linder he could take some of the snapshots shown in that blog.

Prof. Dr. med. Th. Linder is getting himself ready for Insertion of the Implant while I'm already in the realm of dreams. The only thing visible of me is my Right ear. In the Background on the computer screen on the wall my last audiogramm is on display.

Prof. Dr. med. Th. Linder cuts an access tunnel through the mastoid into my middle ear using a 3D-camera-robot for visualisation.


The image above was taken by  Prof. Dr. Th. Linder during the surgery through the microscope.


The magnets and the coil is placed in a pocket prepared by the Professor for this reason and the probe with the electrodes is already inserted through the canal to the middle ear and through the round window into the cochlea.


On the image taken in a CT after the surgery the prezice placement of the probe by  Prof. Dr. Th. Linder is clearly visible. All 16 electrodes have been entered into the cochlea as far as the marker allows.

Still during the surgery all of the 16 electrodes of the Hi-Res 3D of Advanced Bionics have been contacted and their impedance has been checked. Heinz Werder told me the next day that all electrodes were fine except two. Those two were expected to be somehow in a air bubble which hopefully will resolves itself. (This will make for an interesting experience during the mapping later on.)

Prof. Dr. Th. Linder himself took it into his own hands to put on the bandage after closing the wound.

This selfie of me was taken the very same evening in my hospital chamber. I think one can see how happy I am. I had no real pain and felt very well just having gone through a surgery on my head..


By the way the mountain in the background with its top in clouds is the famous Pilatus towering over the wonderful city of Lucerne;-)

So now it's gonna be another 4 weeks to recover and for the wounds to heal before the switch-on, planned for July 8th.


Thank you very much for your interest

Your hearing car specialist, cyborg and CI-Punk - René

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