A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device designed to assist patients who have a severe to profound hearing impairment and receive little to no benefit from traditional amplification such as hearing aids. Dr. MacMillan evaluates, maps, and manages the audiologic portion for patients with a cochlear implant. At this time, we only work with Cochlear Americas cochlear implants. Individuals who wish to receive an implant through another manufacturer will need to seek treatment elsewhere.
At this time, there is not a cochlear implant surgeon in our region. Candidates must travel approximately 2 hours away for surgery. Our main surgical site is the University of Florida Shands Hospital ENT Surgical Department in Jacksonville, FL. There is an option to travel elsewhere if necessary. However, most of our patients are referred to Jacksonville. Candidates will make 2-4 trips to the surgeon before their implant is activated in our office by Dr. MacMillan approximately 6 weeks post-op. This is something we encourage you to keep in mind when considering an implant. Additionally, UF Shands requires a referral/order from your primary care physician to schedule an appointment with their surgeon after it is determined you are a candidate for a cochlear implant. At this time, our office facilitates surgery and mapping for individuals aged 13 and older. There isn't an upper limit for cochlear implantation. Age isn't a deciding factor. For those with no contraindications for surgery, test scores to demonstrate it is an appropriate option, and intact anatomy--cochlear implantation is an option!
Most CI surgeries are outpatient and you will not stay at the hospital. You should, however, stay in a hotel near the hospital overnight in the event of an adverse reaction to the surgery, anesthesia, etc. You will need to plan for someone to drive you the day of your surgery as well as the next day. You will return for a post-op check with the surgeon 1-2 weeks after your surgery. Your implant will be "activated" or turned on by Dr. MacMillan approximately 6 weeks post-op, depending on your healing.
If you feel as though your hearing loss is severe enough to warrant a cochlear implant evaluation, please contact our office to schedule an evaluation. Keep in mind that you will need a doctor’s referral for a cochlear implant evaluation in order to schedule a cochlear evaluation. A CI evaluation is a special test battery to determine if a cochlear implant is an appropriate option for your hearing loss. It is not for those who simply do not like wearing hearing aids for whatever reason or would prefer an implant as insurance will typically cover the hardware and surgery. Insurance will cover a portion of the professional fees for maintenance and mapping but there are Audiologist's fees not covered by insurance that are patient responsibility. Should you have questions about whether an implant is right for you before scheduling an appointment, please reach out to Dr. MacMillan either via email or telephone. You may schedule an office visit before scheduling a CI evaluation. This office visit is an out-of-pocket expense due at the time of the visit and is $92 for approximately 30 minutes. This is a conversation and a time to ask questions. No diagnostic testing will be done at this office visit.
Our Mission: Coastal Audiology is dedicated to offering families improved quality of life through comprehensive and individualized hearing healthcare.
Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor
Cochlear Kanso Sound Processor
Please click here >Cochlear N7 Upgrade Order Form - US_editable.pdf to download the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Upgrade form if you are currently implanted and are due for a processor upgrade.
Please note that if you are self-pay, you will coordinate with Cochlear regarding payment for the new, upgraded processor.
If you will be using your insurance to upgrade your processor, your insurance company may require a letter of medical necessity from your physician in order to bill your insurance for the upgraded processor. This often has to be from the physician who performed your surgery. This may be a simple as contacting their office and asking for a letter or as complicated as having to schedule an appointment with the physician in order for them to process the letter.
We do not have a surgeon in our office or in the Savannah area. We can make suggestions but please note, as they do not perform cochlear implantation, they may be unfamiliar with what is required in the letter.