Successful Hearing Preservation After Reimplantation of a Failed Hybrid Cochlear Implant

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The purpose of this case study was to demonstrate hearing preservation of a subject who was implanted with a 10-mm short electrode cochlear implant that was determined to be malfunctioning at 6 months postimplantation and was explanted and reimplanted with a 16-mm short electrode device.

Study Design:

Single-subject case study.


Research hospital.


A 60-year-old female with a history of gradual progressive bilateral steeply sloping sensorineural hearing loss.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Audiometric data and speech perception in quiet and in noise were collected pre- and postoperatively at 3 and 6 months with the 10-mm short electrode device and pre-explantation and postoperatively at 3, 6, and 12 months with the 16-mm short electrode device.


Functional hearing preservation was accomplished following surgical implantation of both short electrode devices. Overall, the subject had a 22 dB HL total shift in pure-tone-average (0.125–1 kHz) after two cochlear implant surgeries. Speech perception growth was limited over the 6 months the subject was implanted with the 10-mm short electrode device. After 3 months of experience with the 16-mm short electrode device, the subject experienced significant improvements in both speech perception in quiet and in noise.


The inner ear might be more robust than once thought, as was determined through preservation of residual hearing after implantation of two hearing preservation cochlear implants and one device explantation. Furthermore, it is important that hearing professionals remain cognizant of unusual speech perception patterns associated with the cochlear implant.

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