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Procedures and Treatments

Cochlear Implants

If you are still struggling to understand speech when wearing a hearing aid, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Cochlear implants are designed to mimic the function of a healthy inner ear or cochlea. They replace the function of damaged hair cells inside the cochlea to help provide clearer sound than what hearing aids can provide. This helps improve your ability to understand speech and speak clearly. 

Cochlear Implant Program at St. Luke's

At St. Luke’s, we have a team of professionals including an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician/surgeon, audiologists, and speech pathologists who will help determine if a cochlear implant is appropriate for you. Our care coordinators are available every step of the way to help you navigate the cochlear implant process from consultation and evaluation through surgery and recovery. Here's what to expect: 

  • Cochlear implant evaluation by an audiologist specializing in cochlear implants; patients are typically referred to us by a primary care provider or managing audiologist
  • Medical evaluation and consultation by an ENT physician/surgeon at St. Luke's Cochlear and Hearing Loss Clinic
  • CT and/or MRI scan 
  • Speech/language and psychological evaluations for pediatric patients
  • Balance evaluation for adult patients, as needed
  • Cochlear implant surgery
  • Follow-up device programming by a cochlear implant audiologist
  • Annual check-up with surgeon
  • Ongoing therapy with a certified speech pathologist to develop language and listening skills, as needed

Highlights & Resources

Cochlear Implant Candidate Criteria

  • Adults: Moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears or profound hearing loss in one ear and limited benefit from traditional hearing aids.
  • Children 5-17 years: Severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and limited benefit from traditional hearing aids or profound hearing loss in one ear with limited benefit from a hearing aid.
  • Children 2-5 years: Severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and limited benefit from traditional hearing aids.
  • Children under 2 years: Profound hearing loss in both ears and limited benefit from traditional hearing aids.

Contact Us

To schedule an evaluation for cochlear implant candidacy, please call Idaho Elks Hearing and Balance at (208) 385-3440 or e-mail cochlearprogram@slhs.org.

For current cochlear implant patients, please call (208) 381-9590.