Health Care

First Cochlear Robotic-Assisted Implant in Florida at AdventHealth Celebration

A Surgeon in an Operating Room

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This year, our very own neurotologist at AdventHealth Celebration, Michael Seidman, MD, FACS, became the first in the Southeast, let alone Florida, to complete a robotics-assisted cochlear implant procedure using the iotaSOFT® Insertion System. This is the first FDA-authorized technology of its kind.

Approved for patients ages 12 years and older, iotaSOFT® is a robotic-assisted technology that helps surgeons place cochlear implant electrode arrays into a normal cochlea by controlling the speed of implant insertion. Studies have shown that reducing and controlling the insertion speed reduces trauma to the cochlea. That can improve surgical outcomes. Keep reading to learn more.

Slowing Insertion Speed to Prevent More Hearing Loss

About 6.6 million Americans ages 12 and older have severe to profound hearing loss in one or both ears. While hearing aids amplify external sounds, cochlear implants bypass damaged parts of the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. They have improved hearing in patients with severe hearing loss for decades. However, most implant recipients experience additional loss of their natural hearing after surgery due to trauma that can occur during the implantation.

“The spiral-shaped cochlea is very small, and the tissue is extremely delicate,” explains Dr. Seidman. “No matter how steady a surgeon’s hand, there is movement. Even slight variations can cause damage, negatively impacting the patient’s residual hearing, and we want to preserve as much of their residual hearing as possible. Furthermore, we know that maintaining a slow and consistent speed during insertion of the electrodes decreases force which is critical to minimizing pressure spike fluctuations that can also cause intracochlear structural trauma and hearing loss.”

Improving Cochlear Implant Precision and Outcomes

Robotics-assisted insertion increases consistency. A recent study found that compared with manual insertions, robotics-assisted insertions significantly decreased cochlear trauma from the insertion itself.

Dr. Seidman will offer this new approach to treat patients with debilitating hearing loss who are candidates for cochlear implants, including those with sensorineural (caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve), noise-induced or genetic hearing loss.

“The beauty of the iotaSOFT® technology is that it allows for slower and steadier insertion,” Dr. Seidman says. “We believe it may improve patient outcomes by minimizing trauma and preserving residual hearing.”

Looking and Listening Toward the Future

Dr. Seidman and his team plan to perform future studies to evaluate the auditory outcomes of iotaSOFT® cochlear implant patients.

“As one of the busiest cochlear implant centers in the country, we’re committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care and advanced technology. We have a responsibility to contribute toward the growing field of knowledge on this new robotic approach,” shares Dr. Seidman.

He continues, “We look forward to future research efforts and know that any improvement in hearing preservation we can achieve for our patients can make a huge difference in their quality of life.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Seidman, visit us here. You deserve to feel whole.

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