Comfort MRI


*The SOUNDBRIDGE VORP 503 implant can be safely scanned at 1.5T according to the conditions specified in the implant Instructions for Use. The VORP 502 implant is not approved for MR scanning.

✓ No Surgery
✓ No Discomfort
✓ No Hearing Downtime

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. SOUNDBRIDGE also contains magnets which interact with the magnetic field inside the MRI. Yet, undergoing a 1,5 Tesla MR scan with the SOUNDBRIDGE (VORP 503) implant is no problem—are you wondering why? Find out here.

MRI Procedure Without a Hearing Implant

Prior to entering the MRI examination room you would be asked to undress and remove all metallic objects you are wearing (e.g. earrings, glasses, hearing aids, piercings etc.). Furthermore, it is essential that you inform the medical staff about metallic objects you might have inside your body (e.g. metal splinter, joint prostheses etc.).

Once all necessary items have been removed, you can enter the examination room and you will be placed on a moveable examination table. The part of the body to be examined has to be positioned in the middle of the bore.

The scan itself can be quite loud. This is why you will be given headphones or something similar for noise protection. Besides the volume, the narrowness of the bore is often perceived as unpleasant. Body tissue can warm up to 2°C during the scan. This is a normal effect of the magnetic field to the body and is absolutely harmless.


The procedure with SOUNDBRIDGE is basically the same as without a hearing implant. It is important not to forget to show your User ID Card to the radiologist and to take off your audio processor before entering the examination room. You might think that you won’t hear anything inside the bore because you’re not wearing your audio processor. Due to the implant and the interference of the magnets with the magnetic field, it is actually very likely that you will hear some noise. This is absolutely normal and will neither damage the implant nor your residual hearing. As already mentioned, it is also usual that the body tissue can warm up to 2°C. This effect is not related to the implant and does not harm the implant itself or the body.

Why is SOUNDBRIDGE MR Conditional?

The new generation of the SOUNDBRIDGE implant (VORP 503) has a special, patented magnet design which prevents the interaction with the magnetic field during the MRI. As a consequence, the magnets inside the implant react neutrally to the magnetic field in the MRI and do not align with it. Due to this feature SOUNDBRIDGE users do not have to wear a head bandage or similar during the scan. The key conditions that make the examination with SOUNDBRIDGE (VORP 503) possible, are summarized on the user ID card.

Please be aware that your MR images will show a so-called artefact around the implant site. This means that the areas in close proximity to the implant will not be shown.

For an implant to be declared MR Conditional, a series of standardized tests need to be conducted in which torque, force, warming and noise are tested. SOUNDBRIDGE (VORP 503) has successfully passed these tests at 1.5 Tesla and can therefore be labelled MR Conditional at 1.5 Tesla.


  • VORP 503 is currently the only semi-implantable middle ear implant which is MR Conditional at 1.5 Tesla
  • No implant removal and therefore no surgery necessary
  • No hearing downtime: after the scan you can simply put your audio processor back on and hear as usual
  • No special preparations necessary: bring your User ID Card, take off your audio processor and undergo the MRI
  • No head bandage necessary

That's how easy an MRI Scan is for SOUNDBRIDGE users:
Plan MRI MRI Scan

MRI Scans With Competitors’ Implants

With middle ear implants from other companies, any 1.5 Tesla MRI is much more complicated.

ScheduleSurgeries Surgically RemoveImplant MRI Scan Re-Implantation Hearing Downtime Returnto UsingProcessor PlanMRI

  • You’ll need to schedule a surgery to remove the implant. You won’t be able to use your audio processor after the surgery.
  • Only at this stage can the MRI scan be performed.
  • After your scan, you’ll have to have a re-implantation.
  • After the new implant has been surgically inserted, you should be able to use your audio processor again.


A user story: Having an MRI scan with the SOUNDBRIDGE

Judith Hansen underwent an MRI examination with her SOUNDBRIDGE (VORP 503). Read her experience below:

I was lucky that the new VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE was introduced to the market exactly at the time when I chose to be implanted with this hearing implant system. MRI safety was and continues to be an important issue for me because I need to undergo regular MRI checkups resulting from previous surgeries. When deciding to get a hearing implant I was aware of the fact that sooner or later I would need more MRIs. The new VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE is the the only middle ear implant of its kind that is also suitable for an MR— and that’s why it’s the perfect solution for me.

I got my SOUNDBRIDGE in 2014. In February 2016 I underwent my first MRI with my implant. I was neither concerned nor worried before my scan appointment. Since I’ve had several MRIs before, I knew how they worked and the procedure. The MRI with my SOUNDBRIDGE worked exactly like a scan without an implant. All I had to do was remove the audio processor and then they moved me into the scanner tube. I felt absolutely nothing during the scan—no pain and no pressure. After the MRI I simply clicked my SAMBA Audio Processor back in place and was able to hear again just fine.

Watch the Interview

For further information regarding interference of SOUNDBRIDGE with other equipment please visit:
Important Safety Information VORP 503
Important Safety Information VORP 502

© 2017 MED-EL

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