Cochlear implant: Approach to Care

Candidacy and successful use of a cochlear implant depends highly on a multidisciplinary team approach consisting of the patient and family, otolaryngology, audiology, speech language pathology, psychology, and social services. 


For the UF Health Cochlear Implant Program a cochlear implant candidate is an individual who meets the following basic criteria audiologically pending approval from evaluations. Other factors may be taken into account during the audiologic evaluation.

Ages 12 months to 2 years

  • Profound hearing impairment in both ears 
  • Hearing aid trial for 3 to 6 months with little or no benefit from hearing aids 
  • Lack of progress in development of auditory skills 
  • Realistic family expectations of results and progress 
  • Family or caregiver is proactive with rehabilitation exercises

Ages 2 to 17 years 

  • Severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears 
  • Hearing aid trial for 3 to 6 months with little or no benefit from hearing aids 
  • Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills

Ages 18 year and over 

  • Severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears 
  • Pre or Post-linguistic onset of hearing loss 
  • Hearing aid trial for 3 to 6 months with little or no useful benefit from hearing aids 

Score 50 percent or less on sentence recognition tests in the ear to be implanted and 60 percent or less in the non-implanted ear or bilaterally.

Cochlear Implant Program Adult Programming Schedule

NOTE: The following is a schedule for the average adult patient. 

  • 2-day initial stimulation and hook-up of the cochlear implant speech processor – appointment will occur 5 – 6 weeks following surgery
  • Weekly appointments for 2 – 3 months
  • 3 month post hook-up appointment
  • 6 month post hook-up appointment
  • 9 month post hook-up appointment
  • 12 month post hook-up appointment
  • Annual appointments

The Multidisciplinary Team

Patrick J. Antonelli, M.D., F.A.C.S.

  • UF College of Medicine
    Associate Professor in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
  • Dr Antonelli is a board-certified otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He completed a surgical internship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, followed by a four-year residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr Antonelli then completed a one-year fellowship in otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery at the Michigan Ear Institute and Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. After completing his training, he joined the faculty of the University of Florida.
  • Dr Antonelli is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and Chief Medical Information Officer for UF Health.  Dr Antonelli is an active researcher in the field of middle and inner ear pathology. He is a member of numerous medical societies, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, the American Neurotology Society, the American Otological Society, and the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. He is a former president of the Florida Society of Otolaryngology.

Katherine P. Phelan, AuD.

  • Audiologist
  • Dr Phelan is a board-certified audiologist. She received her doctorate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She completed her externship at the Speech and Hearing Center in the University of Florida's Department of Communicative Disorders. After completing training, she joined the faculty at the University of Florida. 
  • Dr Phelan's specialties include the assessment and evaluation of hearing in infants, children, and adults with an emphasis in universal newborn hearing screening; auditory rehabilitation; cochlear and auditory brainstem implant evaluation, programming and rehabilitation; and auditory processing disorder evaluation. She also administers auditory electrophysiology testing. She is a member of several audiologic societies, including the American Academy of Audiology, the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

James H Johnson, Ph.D. 

  • Clinical Psychology

David Wolf

  • Social Work