Koss Cochlear Implant Program

The Koss Cochlear Implant Program is a program of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital. We have a strong academic mission in addition to our emphasis in clinical care. Our team has given numerous presentations at local, national, and international cochlear implant research and clinical conferences. We have also attended and served as instructors at international workshops for training in soft surgical techniques and other technological advances in cochlear implants. We have a highly active research program including studies of genetic hearing loss, aging and cochlear implant performance, electrode placement in hearing preservation surgery, auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder, and many other topics. We feel that combining our clinical experience and our research initiatives gives our patients access to leading technology and allows us to offer the highest possible level of patient care.

Learn more about our Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program
 

Learn more about our Adult Cochlear Implant Program

In the News

The Koss Cochlear Implant Program of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and its Director, Dr. Christina Runge, were featured in a Fox 6 News story on June 14.

Upcoming Events

 

Please note the 15th Annual Koss Cochlear Implant Picnic scheduled for Saturday, August 8 has been canceled. Sorry for any inconvenience.
 

When Hearing Aids are Not Enough
Date: November 18, 2015
Time: 6:00-7:00 P.M.
Location: Community Conference Center
8700 Watertown Plank Road
Room 2    

What is a Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implants provide access to sound for individuals with significant hearing loss. The cochlear implant is not a hearing aid. It is a prosthetic device that bypasses the damaged sensory cells of the inner ear and stimulates the hearing nerve directly. Cochlear implants do not provide “normal” hearing, but help restore the ability to perceive sounds and understand speech.

 How does a cochlear implant work?

A cochlear implant consists of both externally worn and surgically implanted components.

  • The microphone picks up sound and sends it to the speech processor that is worn behind the ear
  • The speech processor analyzes and codes the signal
  • The coded signal is sent to a transmitter that is worn on the head
  • The transmitter sends the signal across the skin to the internal implant and stimulates the hearing nerve
  • The brain interprets the signal from the hearing nerve as sound
 Who can benefit from a cochlear implant?
  • Children as young as 12 months (or younger in some cases) to 18 years of age and adults of any age.
  • Children who receive insufficient benefit from hearing aids.
  • Children who will receive family and educational support.
  • Individuals and families with appropriate expectations.
  • Individuals and families with an understanding of the necessary follow-up.
 What cochlear implant systems are available?

Currently, there are three manufacturers of cochlear implants.

The choice of which device to implant is a collaborative decision between the candidate, their family and the cochlear implant team. As part of the evaluation process, we discuss the function and features of each device with the candidate and their family.

 Who covers the cost of a cochlear implant?
  • Most private insurance covers cochlear implants unless specified as an exclusion to their policy.
  • Medicare and Medicaid cover cochlear implants for those who meet candidacy criteria.

Why the Koss Cochlear Implant Program?

 State-of-the-art surgical procedures and technology

At the Koss Cochlear Implant Program we use the most current techniques for cochlear implant surgery, including the “soft surgical approach.”  The goal of this surgery is to place a cochlear implant in the ear without damaging your current hearing.  Although this technique is most relevant to those with better hearing thresholds, we also use this gentler surgical approach to protect the delicate ear structures in patients with profound hearing loss.  The hearing preservation approach is designed to help cochlear implant users hear better in noise, increase enjoyment of music, and decrease dizziness after surgery.

We also provide the most recent device technology, and you can choose from all cochlear implant brands available in the United States.  Also, with our involvement in clinical trials we can offer access to technology not yet available in the U.S.

 Many listening options

Historically, the listening option for most cochlear implant patients was to use a cochlear implant in only one ear.  We believe that, whenever possible, patients should able to use their full hearing potential from both ears.  We strive to optimize listening for our patients who continue to wear a hearing aid in the opposite ear, and we also have many patients with cochlear implants in both ears.  For our patients with two cochlear implants, we have implanted the devices either during the same surgery (simultaneous), or during separate surgeries (sequential).  We work with patients to decide the listening options with which they are most comfortable and would gain the most benefit.

 Friends and neighbors

Our cochlear implant team follows patients from communities all over Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and several other states.  Several patients have moved to distant states but return to us for their cochlear implant and hearing care.  We have many patients who are enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with individuals who are interested in learning more about cochlear implants.

 It’s Academic!

The Koss Cochlear Implant Program is a program of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital.  We have a strong academic mission in addition to our emphasis in clinical care.  Our team has given numerous presentations at local, national, and international cochlear implant research and clinical conferences.  We have also attended and served as instructors at international workshops for training in soft surgical techniques and other technological advances in cochlear implants.  We have a highly active research program including studies of genetic hearing loss, aging and cochlear implant performance, electrode placement in hearing preservation surgery, auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder, and many other topics.  We feel that combining our clinical experience and our research initiatives gives our patients access to leading technology and allows us to offer the highest possible level of patient care.

Meet our Cochlear Implant Team:

Koss Cochlear Implant Team
The above photo of the Koss Cochlear Implant team was taken at the Sound of Hope event on March 15, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, WI. This annual event's mission is to create awareness for childhood hearing loss and support the Children's Hearing Loss Program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Contact Us

For more information regarding the Koss Cochlear Implant Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, please contact Georgine Boyle at 414.266.2685 (pediatric inquiries) 414.805.5586 (adult inquiries) or gboyle@mcw.edu.

  • The American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance unites the medical community, patients, families, advocates and other professionals to improve the acceptance of and access to cochlear implants for one simple reason: to help enrich people's lives.

 

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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© 2015

Page Updated 07/14/2015
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