MRI and Cochlear Implants

You’ve probably heard of MRI—but did you know that MRI safety is especially important with cochlear implants? Find out how you can experience comfortable MRI scans with your cochlear implant.

Why MRI Safety Matters

MRI machines are a great invention. They allow your doctor to see detailed images of the inside of your body, and quickly find out the best way to help you.

However, having an MRI can cause problems for your cochlear implant. MRI machines contain powerful magnets—so powerful they can lift a car! During a scan, these large MRI magnets can pull on the small magnet in your implant, which can cause you pain and discomfort, or damage your implant.

But SYNCHRONY is a unique kind of cochlear implant. SYNCHRONY is the only cochlear implant available that can safely undergo MRIs at both 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla*, without the magnet needing to be surgically removed. That means you don’t need extra surgery just to get an MRI, and there's no need to worry about pain or discomfort during the scan.

And it's not just SYNCHRONY. With the SONATA and CONCERTO implants, you can also undergo comfortable MRI scans of up to 1.5 Tesla without magnet removal surgery.**

Whatever life brings, experience comfortable and hassle-free MRIs with MED‑EL.

“If you’re going to get an MRI and have a choice, 3.0 T is the gold standard.”

Dr. Harold Pillsbury, MD

Chair, UNC Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

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No Surgery.
No Discomfort.
No Hearing Downtime. 

1.5 & 3.0 Tesla MRI Without Surgery
Safe, simple, and surgery-free. SYNCHRONY is the only cochlear implant that can undergo 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.1

No Discomfort
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.2

Uninterrupted Hearing
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.

MED-EL 3.0 Tesla MRI Without Surgery No Discomfort Uninterrupted Hearing Advanced Bionics Cochlear

The Only Choice for MRI

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 much greater comfort and security during an MRI.


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Info for Radiologists

Your radiologist can find all the information they’ll need here in our medical procedures guide.


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* Recipients with a SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
** Recipients with a CONCERTO or SONATA Cochlear Implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0 and 1.5 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.


1. Kim, B.G., Kim, J.W., Park, J.J., Kim, S.H., Kim, H.N., & Choi, J.Y. (2015). Adverse events and discomfort during magnetic resonance imaging in cochlear implant recipients. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 141(1), 45–52. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2014.2926. http://archotol.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1936465
2. Todt, I., Tittel, A., Ernst, A., Mittmann, P., Mutze, S. (2017) Pain free 3 T MRI scans in cochlear implantees. Otol Neurotol. 38(10) e401–e404.

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