Preparing for your Visit

If the child or adult is covered by a managed care plan, it will be necessary for you to obtain a referral from your child's primary care physician prior to any consultation or treatment. Of course, you may self-refer for a consultation if your insurance plan does not have any restrictions.

How do I make an appointment?
To request an informational consultation regarding a cochlear implant, call 1-877-412-7575 (toll-free). When you come to your visit, you will fill out an intake questionnaire and provide reports of previous evaluations of hearing, speech, and language if these evaluations occurred outside Mayo Clinic Health System.

A visit will be arranged with the Audiology Department to learn about the cochlear implant option and to plan an evaluation of the potential benefit of a cochlear implant.

What should I bring to the appointment?
Bring any relevant audiological, speech/language, educational and medical reports with you. This information will help us determine whether there is anything obvious that would suggest that a cochlear implant is not a good option to pursue and to help our staff suggest other possible options to help.

How long does the evaluation process take?
Once initial criteria is met, you will meet with a number of specialists during the communication evaluation. Children may meet with five or more specialists, which may require multiple visits and multiple tests.

What happens during the evaluation appointment?
You will meet with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor), audiologist, psychologist, speech-language pathologist, education specialist and possibly a developmental pediatrician.

The otolaryngologist may recommend specialized CT and MRI scans and blood tests to determine candidacy for an implant.

What happens after the evaluation appointment?
After the appointment, the team discusses their findings with each other, the family, the primary care provider and school if appropriate.

For our pediatric patients, part of the discussion will focus on the availability of an appropriate educational program and speech/language therapy services. These services must be in place before an implant is performed.

If the decision is made to have a cochlear implant, we will request prior authorization from the family's health insurance provider for the cochlear implant device, surgery, hospitalization and follow-up appointments.