Cochlear Implants

Our practice has been involved in cochlear implantations since 2013. Dr. Rossouw is part of the Johannesburg Cochlear Implant Centre which is an organised group of Surgeons and Audiologists with a special interest in cochlear implantations.

Our Cochlear Implant Services

General Information
Cochlear implantations entail a team approach to select the optimal patient who will derive the most benefit from a cochlear implantation.The cochlear implant has created a paradigm shift in the treatment of sensory neural hearing loss. The impact that the implant has had is far greater than one would expect considering the brief time over which its development occurred. In less than four decades, the cochlear implant progressed from the first attempts to elicit hearing via an electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve to a commercially available device that has restored varying degrees of hearing to tens of thousands of deaf patients across the globe.

The implant’s development occurred in several phases. The first phase of pioneering and experimentation began in 1957. The second phase entailed feasibility studies that started in 1970. These studies were conducted to determine whether the implant is safely stimulated and that the auditory part elicited useful hearing. The third phase entailed a subsequent development of a commercially available multi-electrode cochlear implant that would benefit the deaf patient.

Clinical experience has shown a large variability in the outcome among implant users. A successful clinical outcome reflects the importance of auditory experience either before an acquired hearing loss or with the use of a cochlear implant. Children with little or no prior auditory experience can obtain significant benefit from a cochlear implant provided the device is fitted at a young age and preferably before three years.

The route to follow should someone feel that they qualify for a possible cochlear implant is as follows:

Routine Checkup
Have an audiogram done at a qualified Audiologist to determine whether a hearing aid is not sufficient to enhance the hearing. If not, make an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist on the cochlear program who will then assess the hearing, examine the patient clinically, discuss the pros and cons of a cochlear implant operation etc.
Assessment
Thereafter the patient will be sent to the Johannesburg Cochlear Implant Centre’s Audiological Department where they will be fully assessed by highly qualified professionals who do exclusively these assessments.
X-Rays & CT Scans
Should they find the patient is a possible candidate, the case will be presented to the group who have a monthly meeting. Here, each aspect of the hearing loss, social aspect etc. will be discussed. Should the person then get approval to have a cochlear implant done, they will be sent for extensive X-rays entailing a C.T-scan as well as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan. This is done, for my practice, by a group in Pretoria who have a special interest in this particular surgery. It is extremely important to know where the vital structures are in the ear and whether there are any contraindications for the surgery. Certain congenital abnormalities and other acquired conditions make it impossible for the surgery to be done.
Medical Aid
Once this has been done and approved, the patient will communicate with his funder, i.e. medical aid or others to get the funding. Letters will be written from the doctor and the audiological side to motivate.
Surgery
After this has been done, a surgical date is determined.

The surgery takes approximately three hours to perform. Most patients can be discharged on the same day. In our practice however, we prefer to keep them overnight.

Although it is technically a very difficult operation, from the patient’s point of view, it is a relatively non-invasive procedure and not very painful afterwards.

For any further information, please contact the practice of Dr. Deon Rossouw at dprossouw@samedical.co.za.

Useful Links

What You Need to Know About Your Appointment

Relevant information that is needed at the appointment:
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Medical Aid

If you have a Medical Aid else you have to pay privately.
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Medical History

Any information from Previous Doctors with regards to health history for your ears, nose or throat can be helpful.
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Referred Doctor

A write-up if you have been referred from another doctor regarding the health issues.
“You do not need to clean wax out of your ears unless you have an abnormal condition. Ears push excess wax out as needed.”

Better Health Care is Our Mission

+27 (0) 11 839 4418 / 9 (Mayfair)

+27 (0) 10 001 9154 (Alberton)

+27 (0) 72 988 3136 (For Emergencies Only)

House 8a, Garden City Hospital, 35 Bartlett Street, Mayfair West, Johannesburg, 2092

dprossouw@samedical.co.za

The Ear & Eye Clinic, 3 Dirk Smit Crescent, Meyersdal, Alberton, Johannesburg

(Tuesdays & Wednesdays)