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Rush Limbaugh's Cochlear Implant Surgery A Success


LOS ANGELES - Antonio De la Cruz, M.D., of the House Ear Clinic/House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, performed Rush Limbaugh's cochlear implant surgery yesterday. Dr. De la Cruz and Jennifer Derebery, M.D., have been treating Mr. Limbaugh for hearing loss as a result of Auto-Immune Inner Ear Disease (AIED). After a period of treatment with medication in an effort to save his residual hearing, Mr. Limbaugh and his physicians decided to proceed with a cochlear implant to restore his hearing. Mr. Limbaugh was moving around easily after several hours of post-surgery bed rest at St. Vincent Medical Center yesterday, where Dr. De la Cruz performed his cochlear implant surgery as an outpatient.

"I feel great!" said Rush Limbaugh. "The surgery went smoothly and I'm looking forward to enjoying the holidays and returning to the air in early January."

"Mr. Limbaugh's cochlear implant surgery at the House Ear Clinic yesterday went very well," said Antonio De la Cruz, M.D., House Ear Clinic/House Ear Institute. "As we expected, Mr. Limbaugh responded very well to the surgery, which lasted about two hours, and he was sent home this morning. Rush has the approval of his physicians at the House Ear Clinic to return to work in early January."

"Mr. Limbaugh won't be ready to use his cochlear implant until a recovery period of several weeks is completed," said Antonio De la Cruz, M.D., House Ear Clinic/House Ear Institute. "Mr. Limbaugh will be able to work and resume his other activities during the post-surgery recovery period while his incision is healing."

Rush Limbaugh will return to the House Ear Clinic in a few weeks to be fitted with the external unit for his cochlear implant. At the Clinic, Mr. Limbaugh's cochlear implant use will be activated in an initial stimulation and mapping session with his audiologist. He will hear sound for the first time since he lost his residual hearing.

"This cochlear implant will reconnect Mr. Limbaugh to his environment, and that is an important benefit to his quality of life," said Antonio De la Cruz, M.D., House Ear Clinic/House Ear Institute.

Two components make up the external unit worn behind the ear by cochlear implant users - a microphone, which receives environmental sounds and transmits them to a speech processor, where mechanical sounds are then converted into a processed electrical signal. This processed signal is sent to the brain via the implanted electrodes within the inner ear. The quality of sound received through a cochlear implant is different from the quality of sound processed through a natural ear, but with time and training, most implant users learn to converse easily.

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