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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 468515, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/468515
Review Article

Hearing Preservation in Cochlear Implant Surgery

1Brasília University Hospital, Hospital Universitário de Brasília-HUB, SGAN 605, Avenida L2 Norte, 70830-200 Brasília, DF, Brazil
2Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, 70910-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil

Received 17 May 2014; Revised 15 August 2014; Accepted 18 August 2014; Published 3 September 2014

Academic Editor: David W. Eisele

Copyright © 2014 Priscila Carvalho Miranda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In the past, it was thought that hearing loss patients with residual low-frequency hearing would not be good candidates for cochlear implantation since insertion was expected to induce inner ear trauma. Recent advances in electrode design and surgical techniques have made the preservation of residual low-frequency hearing achievable and desirable. The importance of preserving residual low-frequency hearing cannot be underestimated in light of the added benefit of hearing in noisy atmospheres and in music quality. The concept of electrical and acoustic stimulation involves electrically stimulating the nonfunctional, high-frequency region of the cochlea with a cochlear implant and applying a hearing aid in the low-frequency range. The principle of preserving low-frequency hearing by a “soft surgery” cochlear implantation could also be useful to the population of children who might profit from regenerative hair cell therapy in the future. Main aspects of low-frequency hearing preservation surgery are discussed in this review: its brief history, electrode design, principles and advantages of electric-acoustic stimulation, surgical technique, and further implications of this new treatment possibility for hearing impaired patients.