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Step 3: What happens during the evaluation process?

A number of assessments are required in order to determine the suitability of an implantable device for each person.  The results of these tests allow the clinicians to make an evidence-based recommendation and to advise people on the benefits they may gain from an implantable device compared to conventional hearing aids.  

What types of assessments are needed?

Below is an overview of the types of assessments required to help determine the likelihood of benefit from an implantable device.  The assessments will require multiple visits to the Eye and Ear and other service providers over a number of months.  

  • Hearing and hearing aid assessments
  • Speech perception and communication assessments
  • CT & MRI Scans
  • Balance test (adults only)
  • General medical assessment (including fitness for general anaesthetic if necessary).

All assessment results are considered by our multi-disciplinary team before discussing our recommendation with the patient and their family. The timeline for this process varies depending on individual patient circumstances; on average this process takes around three months.

When would a device be recommended?

A cochlear implant is recommended when there is a high chance the person will hear significantly more with the cochlear implant than they currently can with hearing aids.

An implantable bone conduction device may be recommended if there has been a successful trial of a bone conduction device on a headband.
Implantable hearing devices are elective surgeries, and so a recommendation for a device does not mean the person has to proceed with surgery. If surgery is recommended, the final choice to proceed is with the individual patient or a child’s parents.
Surgeries occur at approved hospitals throughout Melbourne.