MRI and Cochlear Implants: The Facts
Ensuring Your Comfort and Safety
MRI is one of the most important diagnostic imaging tools for healthcare professionals. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans use powerful magnets to create detailed images of the inside of a person’s body. MRI safety is especially important for cochlear implant recipients, because every cochlear implant has an internal magnet that can be affected by an MRI scan.
That’s why all MED-EL cochlear implants are designed to allow MRI scans without the need for surgical magnet removal.* Our SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant goes even further, with a revolutionary, self-aligning magnet that ensures the highest degree of MRI safety and comfort of any cochlear implant.
SYNCHRONY is the only cochlear implant that lets you have high-resolution 3.0 Tesla MRI scans without surgery to remove the magnet.** With SYNCHRONY, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re ready for anything that life can bring.
No Hearing Downtime.
1.5 & 3.0 Tesla MRI Without Surgery
Safe, simple, and surgery-free. SYNCHRONY is the only cochlear implant that is approved for both 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla MRI scans with the implant magnet in place. That means you won’t need surgery to remove and replace the magnet before and after your MRI.
Relax—there’s no pressure. SYNCHRONY has a self-aligning magnet, so there’s no painful magnetic pulling on the implant during an MRI scan. That means outstanding comfort, even during high-strength 3.0 Tesla scans.
Why wait? Hear right away after an MRI. Without surgery, there’s no waiting for healing, or hearing downtime, so you can use your audio processor immediately before and after your MRI.
MRI Scans With SYNCHRONY
Immediate Access to MRI—Instant Return to Hearing
With SYNCHRONY, you can have a 1.5 T or high-resolution 3.0 T MRI of any part of your body at any time.*** It’s a routine procedure and you can go back to using your audio processor right away after your MRI.
MRI Scans With Competitors’ Implants
With cochlear implants from other companies, 3.0 Tesla MRI scans are much more complicated.
- You may need to schedule an X-ray to first identify what type of cochlear implant magnet you have.
- Next, you’ll need to schedule a surgery to remove the magnet from your cochlear implant. You won’t be able to use your audio processor after the surgery.
- Then you’ll need to have the MRI scan performed.
- After your scan, you’ll have to have a new magnet surgically implanted.
- After the new magnet has been surgically inserted, you should be able to use your audio processor again.
MED-EL: Made for MRI
In a recent study reviewing MRIs and cochlear implants, MED-EL recipients were the only group of cochlear implant recipients able to complete MRIs without pain, discomfort, or complications.1
Most of the patients with other brands did not have their magnets surgically removed before MRI. Many of these patients experienced pain, discomfort, or complications; these problems included pain at the implant site, having to stop the MRI, and even the dislocation of the implant magnet.
Kim et al. (2015) found complications during 1.5 T MRI scans for:
- Advanced Bionics: 2 out of 5 recipients (9 total scans)
- Cochlear: 5 out of 9 recipients (12 total scans)
- MED-EL: 0 out of 3 recipients (8 total scans)
Revolutionary Magnet Design
SYNCHRONY’s magnet can freely rotate and self-align inside of its housing, so it’s not adversely affected by the magnetic field of an MRI scan. There’s no torque or “tugging” on the implant, for optimal comfort and security during an MRI.
MRI safety guidelines: Important MRI Safety Information