Ian Storper, MD, Director of Otology, Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders, The New York Head and Neck Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital, implanted the first Maxum hearing device in the greater New York area in a 77 year old man from Manhattan recently. The patient was sent home the same day.
The FDA- approved Maxum, part of the next generation of hearing implants, is surgically implanted to send electromagnetic signals that are transferred across the eardrum to the inner ear, where they are interpreted as speech and sound.
“This new middle ear implant is an exciting advance in hearing restoration,” said Dr. Storper. “It is useful for people who are suffering from progressive sensorineural hearing loss (nerve loss) and have found that conventional hearing aids no longer provide them with the volume and clarity of sound that they need. A common complaint is that distortion or feedback is created when conventional hearing aids are turned up to the volume at which patients need to hear.”
The implant consists of two components --an internal component: a tiny magnet that is surgically implanted in the middle ear and an external component: a completely in-the-canal electromagnetic sound processor that is worn in a similar way to a conventional hearing aid. The “speaker-less” sound processor does not make any audible sounds or noises.
The minimally-invasive procedure is performed as a same-day procedure at Lenox Hill Hospital’s ambulatory surgery center and usually takes less than one hour. The procedure is reversible; the magnetic implant can be removed if necessary.
Patients are discharged the same day after a brief recovery period and may return to work the next day. Postoperative medications include mild pain relievers and antibiotics. The implant is activated approximately four weeks postoperatively to permit complete healing.
“Most patients in the clinical trial reported less ear canal occlusion, better sound quality, less feedback, and greater satisfaction with the Maxum as compared to their hearing aids,” said Dr. Storper.