Friday, November 26, 2010

a good decision

When we met with the surgeon Monday morning, he asked us whether we wanted Lucas to be implanted with the N5 (sticking with the same company as the old ear), or whether we wanted an AB (different company) implant in his left. We joked about it for a few minutes, thinking that it would be silly to have two different devices, but he told us that some people seriously do have one ear from each company.

I thought about it for a moment (and really just a moment), thinking about the possibilities of having the benefits of both devices. Advanced Bionics implants are advertised as giving increased musical benefit to recipients, which I see as a big drawing point. We originally chose Cochlear, mostly because of the versatility of the babyworn processor to go easily between being clipped to the body and being worn completely behind the ear. We've been pleased with our decision, but I'm sure we would have been happy the other way around too.

On Monday, we decided to stick with status quo, as I've been dreaming of the Nucleus 5 device ever since it was released. I also am a big fan of symmetry. Having 2 different external processors brings more attention to his ears, in my opinion.

Well, I believe we made a good decision. The day after Lucas's surgery, AB voluntarily recalled their HiRes 90K implant, and retrieved all unimplanted devices in distribution. We would have missed the recall by a day.  Apparently there have been 2 reports of recipients experiencing severe pain, overly loud sounds and/or shocking sensations at 8-10 days after initial activation. You can read the press release here. This may have caused Lucas to be explanted. I'm not sure what they would have recommended, but I'm very thankful that I don't have to deal with another element of stress in this whole process.

I've heard many, many good things about this company, and I sincerely hope that the problem gets solved soon, for both the company and the recipients.


xraevision said...

This is really interesting. We haven't done much research into CI brands because we're not quite there yet. However, since the procedure and some of the equipment is covered by the government here, we don't have a choice. Cochlear is our only option, but I will be sure to ask the audiology team why that is.

I'm so glad that Lucas is recovering nicely and that he was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family!

Jacob's Dad said...

We faced the same decision back in 2007 when we had my son Jacob implanted on his other side. He has the AB CII implanted on his right side back in 8/01 when he was 20 months old and we decided to get the other side done after seeing more people getting them and insurance companies finally approving a second implant (which was very uncommon when we has the first one done 6 years prior.) The doctor/surgeon asked us and I felt it would be better to have both from the same company as we were very happy with his first one and everything went smoothly. We are still happy that he has both. We are working with his audiologist to bring his other ear as close to the first implanted one in the aspect of hearing capability, to which as of his last testing (8/10) has shown we are very close. I wish we hadn't waited 6 years between surgeries as the longer one waits the harder/longer it may take to get the results you want from them.( Similar to the info we were told back in 2001 that they like to implant children before age 8 because it's easier to do the needed therapies and get the results. I am following this recall but know as with our past experiences with AB, they will make this right and fix any issues that may arise.

Melanie said...


Happy to be a Med-El family! :)

I can't wait to hear how Lucas' activation goes.

Melinda said...

We dont have the choice in Aust for the AB brands, its only the cochlear. But it made news here & i never even knew there was another company out there making another implant. So glad you decided with the N5, all of our little friends have been implanted with them & have amazing results. We are currently in talks about the implant for my daughter.
So glad everything worked out for your lil guy though :)