The Esteem Implant is the world’s first and only completely internal hearing device that works with your ear’s anatomy to let sound in the way nature intended. Unlike hearing aids, there are no microphones to distort conversations or amplify wind. And there is nothing in your ear canal to block sound’s natural path. Instead, the device’s three components work together with your ear to deliver Esteem’s natural hearing.
Sound enters your outer ear and funnels down your ear canal causing your eardrum to vibrate. All as it as nature intended.
A Better Mom,
Mrs. America Post-Esteem Implant
Father and Golf Enthusiast Improves Quality of Life with Esteem
Grandpa and Business Owner
Trainer/Consultant, North Carolina
Businessman and Water Sports Enthusiast, North Carolina
Wannabe Cowgirl, Ohio
As you explore whether the Esteem is right for you, here are the most common questions we receive about it.
If you’re curious about what to expect when performing the Esteem procedure, here’s a link to a brief Q&A on the procedure from Dr. Jack Shohet. Dr. Shohet is a neurotologist who has completed over 300 Esteem cases, more than any other active surgeon in the U.S. To date, there have been more than 1,000 Esteem devices implanted worldwide, and many of the original clinical trial patients have had their devices for more than 14 years.
As Dr. Shohet comments in the Q&A above, the success rate is incredibly high, as 97% of patients implanted after the FDA approval show a demonstrable improvement in their audiometric evaluations. The three percent with less than successful results were caused by infections and poor audiological performance. The technology is very reliable with a failure rate of less than one percent. As you know, patient satisfaction rates are more subjective, and dependant on preoperative expectations.
When considering options it's always helpful to learn what an experienced Esteem surgeon has to say!
In people with sensorineural (nerve-related) hearing loss, the mechanics of the middle ear are functioning normally. The Esteem is designed to leverage the natural mechanics of the middle ear. The surgical procedure takes place under general anesthesia and typically takes 3-4 hours. The procedure is outpatient and so you can go home after surgery.
Like all implanted medical devices, we use standard benchtop testing to try to determine the products’ anticipated lifespan. All benchtop testing done has shown an expected lifespan of at least 30 years (that was the limit of the testing done, not the limit of the device lifespan).
The Esteem battery lasts 4.5 to 9 years with an average of five years. The battery life varies depending on the number of hours it is left on. In extreme conditions with continuous exposure to very loud sound levels using the highest gain settings. battery life may be reduced to 2.8 years.
After the surgery, you will not be able to hear with the implanted ear until the device is turned on, which typically occurs at 8 weeks post-surgery. After any middle ear surgery, it is normal for the middle ear space to fill with fluid which typically dissipates as the ear heals.
The Esteem is designed to be retroactively compatible. Therefore as improvements such as software upgrades and improved battery life are made Esteem patients will get to take advantage of these upgrades when their battery is replaced.
One of the most common questions prospective patients ask is what does the Esteem® really look like?
Watch this short video for an example:
Curious about how the Esteem works?
Yes. The Esteem battery and software are housed together in the Sound Processor piece which sits in the temporal bone. When the battery begins to deplete, the Sound Processor is replaced with a new one in an outpatient procedure that takes place under local or general anesthesia depending on the surgeon’s preference. The procedure takes about an hour and afterwards, the device is typically turned on right away.
Approximately 8 weeks after surgery. You will return to your Esteem surgical site and the Esteem audiologist will turn on and program the device for your specific hearing needs. Your Esteem audiologist will customize three different programs that you can switch between using your own Personal Programmer.
The Esteem may not be the right solution for you, but on the other hand, maybe it is. Let us help you understand your hearing loss, weigh your options and locate hearing healthcare professionals committed to offering you a full spectrum of hearing solutions.
You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take the time to learn more and not just accept the status quo.
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