Revision cochlear implantation for facial nerve stimulation in otosclerosis

Marek Polak, S. Arif Ulubil, Annelle V. Hodges, Thomas J. Balkany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To find if patients experiencing postsurgical facial nerve stimulation caused by underlying disease process (ie, otosclerosis) can improve their hearing performance with their cochlear implant by reimplantation and by an optimal programming strategy. Design: Retrospective analysis. Setting: Academic tertiary referral center. Patients: Two cochlear otosclerosis patients with resistant facial nerve stimulation (FNS). Both patients were initially implanted with Nucleus 22 devices (Cochlear Corporation, Englewood, Colo) and they developed FNS after a period of use. Owing to the decreasing number of active electrodes, concurrent decreases in speech understanding occurred. Interventions: Various programming approaches were used to address the FNS. Both subjects ultimately received Nucleus 24 devices. One was reimplanted in the same ear, and the other was implanted in the opposite ear. Both have been followed up for 8 months following the reimplantation. Main Outcome Measures: Cochlear implant programming levels, cochlear implant performance, and facial nerve stimulation. Results: The FNS was managed for more than 3 years through optimized programming. However, the FNS progressed until performance dropped below acceptable levels. Reimplantation was believed to be the only option for improvement. After reimplantation and programming, both subjects showed immediate improvement in speech discrimination. One user increased his consonant-nucleusconsonant word score from12%preoperatively to 42%, and the other's performance increased from 0% to 86%. Conclusions: Our results suggest that having more programming options with newer devices is critical in otosclerotic or ossified users who experience FNS. Also, reimplantation may be a useful tool to improve performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-404
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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