Cochlear Implant Program

Our nationally known Cochlear Implant Program provides an opportunity to restore hearing for those who are unable to benefit from conventional hearing aids. Since 1984, the University of Virginia Cochlear Implant Program has been active in both clinical care for adults and children and research in this field.  Our multifaceted program combines technical expertise and a uniquely strong interface with educational and therapeutic programs throughout Virginia and elsewhere.

Our program’s first cochlear implant was performed in 1984. The implant was a single electrode device.  Dr. Roger Ruth and Dr. Paul Lambert started the UVA Cochlear Implant Program shortly thereafter with a team of audiologists and surgeons. As technology advanced, so did the program. The first multi-channel device designed by the Cochlear Corporation was FDA approved and implanted at the University of Virginia in 1985. A second implant device designed by the Advanced Bionics Corporation was approved by the FDA in 1995 for adults and 1997 for children. The first implantation of this new Advance Bionics device was performed soon afterward in 1998.  In 2003 UVA began implanting MED EL cochlear implants.

Through the years our team has grown to include three neuro-otologists, three programming audiologists and an auditory verbal therapist. Despite a large and ever growing program, we continue to provide personalized service for the adult and pediatric patients we serve.