Cochlear implant (CI)

For 30 years now, cochlear implantations have been performed in the ENT Clinic at the Klinikum rechts der Isar. At our clinic itself, as well as in cooperation with other institutes of the Technical University of Munich and our international cooperation partners, we are involved in several research projects in order to offer our patients state-of-the-art care.

The CI consultation before a possible operation as well as the follow-up treatment takes place in the friendly rooms of the Munich Comprehensive Hearing Center (Hörzentrum München).

A cochlear implant is not a hearing aid, but a hearing prosthesis. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not act as a sound amplifier to support an injured ear. Rather, it replaces the function of the inner ear by directly electrically stimulating the auditory nerve.

For this purpose, a stimulation electrode is placed as close as possible to the auditory nerve fibers. In CI implantation, it is inserted into the fluid-filled cavities of the cochlea.

The CI system consists of internal and external components:

The sound vibrations are picked up via  microphone on the speech processor (1). The speech processor processes the acoustic signal by performing frequency and volume coding (which otherwise takes place in the inner ear) and calculates an electrical pulse pattern. This information is transmitted from the transmitter coil (2), held by a magnet, through the skin to the implant (3). The implant checks the received information and stimulates the auditory nerve (5) via the electrode (4).

Figure: with kind permission of the company MED-EL, Innsbruck

Head of department

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Wollenberg


Prof. Dr. med.
Hans-Peter Niedermeyer

Head of the CEHC

PD Dr. med.
Markus Wirth