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March 21, 2019

An Otologist’s Experience as a Cochlear Implant Patient—The Power of Neuroplasticity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(5):401-402. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.0054

I knew it was time to consider getting a cochlear implant when I realized that patients I was providing with implants had better hearing than I did. This resulted in a somewhat unique situation: an otologist with an implant. The saga of surgery, programming, and relearning how to hear with an implant has given me some valuable insights—especially regarding the neuroplasticity of the human brain—that, I believe, would otherwise be lost to the implant community. What follows are the lessons learned.