There are five important points you need to be aware of when you are making your choice:
What do we offer?
At USAIS, we offer devices made by two cochlear implant manufacturers (Cochlear and MED-EL). Both manufacturers make more than one style of speech processor (external part). We offer you the choice of devices because, in our view, they are essentially all the same. It doesn’t make any difference to us which one you choose, only that you might find the features of one of the devices better for you and your lifestyle. If you choose your processor because you like the colour, that’s just as good a reason as any other.
Which is the best device?
If one of the devices provided significantly better hearing than the others, that would be the only one we would offer. Our experience over more than 25 years is that although outcomes & results vary from person to person, none of the devices is better for listening than any of the others. Although each of the manufacturers has, at different times, had hitches with equipment, overall none of the internal parts are more robust or reliable than the others. Outcomes are essentially the same for all devices. There is no “wrong” choice.
Whichever manufacturer you pick, you can only use their external equipment. Both manufacturers work hard to produce exciting and innovative developments in their products, and so sometimes one manufacturer brings a specific feature or accessory to the market before the other does. They often put together kits with different accessories and options to encourage you to pick them. We think that’s great: our patients get the best possible deal! Not all the options and accessories come as standard, so you will need to check the What’s In The Kit pages to see what you will get, and what accessories you might want to buy separately.
In very rare cases – for example, if the scans were to show that the shape of your inner ear (cochlea) was very unusually shaped – the surgeon might recommend a specific device which he felt might be easiest to implant in your ear. If this is the case, the surgeon will discuss it with you after your scan results have come back.
Before you decide…
DON’T CHOOSE YET! There is absolutely no rush to decide. After we have completed assessment, we will confirm whether or not a cochlear implant is the best choice for you at this stage. If we’re confident that we can help you hear better with a cochlear implant, we will ask you to decide whether you want to go ahead. Once you have decided to have a cochlear implant, we will arrange a session to let you try on all the devices and ask any final questions before you decide which device you would prefer.