Cochlear implants could be safe, effective for transplant patients
An unfortunate side effect of some organ transplants is deafness caused by antibiotics and anti-rejection drugs. Now researchers have found that cochlear implants to restore hearing can be safe and effective for transplant patients. There are cells in the inner ear that produce fluid to convert sound waves to neural impulses, and these cells can be destroyed by medications prescribed to transplant recipients, making sounds incomprehensible. Patients who receive the implants are susceptible to infection, so they are usually put on medications to boost their immune systems, which can lead to organ rejections. However, a study has shown that with the right antibiotics and a six month wait period after transplant, the implants were successful in kidney transplant patients. “This study adds to the growing evidence that successful cochlear implantation can be achieved in appropriately selected renal transplant patients,” Dr. Brian J. McKinnon and Dr. Kenneth C. Iverson write.
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