- About Our Center
- Our Services for Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Areas of Research
- Clinical Trials
About NYU Cochlear Implant Center
A cochlear implant program has been in place at NYU Langone Medical Center since 1984 when we were the first in the area to implant patients with multichannel cochlear implants. At that time, great strides had been made in the rehabilitation of persons with hearing impairment using new and advanced hearing aids. The major problem which remained was the lack of availability of treatment for those children and adults with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss who received little or no functional benefit from amplification. The purpose of the cochlear implant is to provide these individuals with direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve by placing one or more electrodes adjacent to the ganglion cells of that nerve.
Accomplishments of the NYU Cochlear Implant Center
In 1984, we were the first to implant a multichannel cochlear prosthesis in an adult in the eastern United States. In 1987, NYU performed the first pediatric multichannel cochlear prosthesis in the US. In 1994, we performed the first Clarion (Advanced Bionics) multichannel implant on an adult patient on the east coast. In 1996, NYU Cochlear Implant Center was the first center in the US to implant adults with two newly developed multichannel cochlear prostheses: the Nucleus 24 device and the Med-El device. In early 1997, NYU CIC performed the first pediatric Nucleus 24 implantations in the US and in 1999, NYU CIC was the only center in the US chosen to conduct an adult FDA feasibility study by implanting 5 adults with a newly designed perimodiolar electrode array. Based on the recommendations made as a result of these surgeries, nationwide clinical trials began in the year 2000 and the device was subsequently approved by the FDA.
Following the implementation of less restrictive FDA guidelines, we were the first in the world to use this new device on a 12 month old child and have since implanted over 60 infants below 12 months of age. We are participants in the clinical trials of all new devices and software upgrades from Advanced Bionics (Clarion device), Cochlear Corporation (Nucleus device) and Med-El.
From 1987-1992, Drs. Cohen and Waltzman were the Principal Investigators of the first and only prospective multicenter randomized study of advanced cochlear implants: a five year study which was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program and Division of Rehabilitation Research and Development. The study has been quoted as a landmark for its scientific research design and the keynote manuscript was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
In 1994, in addition to performing cochlear implants, the NYU Cochlear Implant Center became one of six centers in the US selected to provide auditory brainstem implants (ABI) under the auspices of an FDA clinical trial.
To date, NYU CIC is the second largest ABI center in the country. The procedures are performed by our cochlear implant surgeons and the members of the Department of Neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. The device is currently available to individuals who have Neurofibromatosis Type II affecting the auditory nerves, in whom a cochlear implant is not feasible. Complications have been few and results have yielded improvement in communication abilities for the large majority of patients.
The Program offers forums open to the public, cochlear implant meetings and has hosted three major international conferences. In addition, we have been on the international advisory or planning committee of virtually all major cochlear implant meetings during the past decade. We have held a number of cochlear implant surgical courses and have been invited to participate in many such courses in other states and countries.