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Virginia Mason is Among First in Nation to Offer New, MRI-Compatible Cochlear Implant
SEATTLE — (Oct. 10, 2018) — Virginia Mason recently became the first medical center in Washington state, and among the first in the nation, to offer the newest generation of the cochlear implant, an electronic medical device used in the treatment of patients with significant hearing loss.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Advanced Bionics HiRes™ Ultra 3D technology earlier this year.
Daniel Zeitler, MD, Otolaryngology, fitted one of his patients with the new device in September at the Listen for Life Center at Virginia Mason, home of the Pacific Northwest’s largest cochlear implant program for children and adults.
“We are committed to quality, safety and ensuring our patients have great clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Zeitler, an expert in neurotology, the branch of medicine that studies and treats neurological disorders of the ear.
Because of modifications that permit 3D rotation of the cochlear implant’s internal magnet when it is subjected to a magnetic field, individuals fitted with the new device can get a routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan without having to first undergo surgery or head bandaging. The magnet aligns in any direction with the external magnetic field of the MRI machine, allowing the patient to safely undergo high-resolution diagnostic imaging without pain or discomfort.
“The new cochlear implant will continue to improve hearing function while simultaneously improving the patient’s quality of life,” Dr. Zeitler said.
Previously, patients and their physicians had to contend with the strong magnetic field from MRI machines exerting force on the cochlear implant magnet, causing torque and pain if the cochlear magnet remained in place, even with head bandaging. It was common to remove the magnet for high resolution MRI examinations, requiring outpatient surgery and interrupting the patient’s hearing during the healing process.
About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; outpatient medical facilities and services in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; Virginia Mason Foundation; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management method for improving quality and safety.
Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Virginia Mason Memorial includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation.
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System