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Hearing preservation in cochlear implantation using FLEX-electrodes
Stark T. , Holzapfel S. , Klank F. , Steinhoff J. , Strenger T.
Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Hals-Nasen-Ohrenklinik und Poliklinik, München, Germany
Introduction: The aim of the study is to present our concept to preserve residual hearing in cochlear
implantation. We focus on the techniques of hearing preservation surgery as well as on the outcome.
Materials and methods: Therefore we analyzed the data of 51 patients, age 1-83 years, with sensorineural
hearing loss. To preserve residual hearing these patients were implanted with FLEX-electrodes, using the round
window approach. Steroids were applied both systemically and locally. Hearing and vestibular function were
tested pre- and postoperatively and a questionnaire was used to evaluate symptoms of vertigo.
Results: In this study patients showed similar postoperative hearing thresholds compared to preoperative
thresholds. Using FLEX-electrodes three patients complained about postoperative vertigo and only one patient
had reduced function of the lateral semicircular canal on the operated side. In the control group of 72 patients
who underwent cochlear implantation following the standard procedure 20,4% of the patients complained about
vertigo and 9,3% showed pathologic test results postoperatively.
Conclusion: Following the surgical principles for hearing preservation and using FLEX-electrodes seems not
only to preserve residual hearing but although may help to reduce postoperative vertigo in cochlear implant