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Service & Support
Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced Bionics is here to help you each and every step of the way on your journey to hearing. From online resources to our caring and informed customer service team, you can always count on AB.

What follows are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding service and support. If you don’t find the answer to your question, contact AB Customer Service for assistance.

Services to Support You


AB’s customer service experts are well equipped to address your needs and continually meet your expectations with a wide range of important services, including:

  • Answer questions on hearing and cochlear implant technology
  • Find a cochlear implant clinic near you
  • Send you information
  • Put you in touch with helpful associations and organisations, such as the BEA
  • Provide phone support
  • Troubleshoot technical issues

 

How do I contact AB Customer Service?

There are two easy ways to contact AB Customer Service:

Call: +44 (0) 1223 847 888

Email: info.uk@AdvancedBionics.com

 


How do I place an order for AB products?

Please contact Advanced Bionics Customer Service, and they will direct you to an AB certified retail partner.

AB certified retail partners are hearing healthcare professionals with specialised product knowledge and high levels of customer service, meaning they are able to deliver the professional expertise and aftercare required for cochlear implant users.

 



Can I travel by plane with my cochlear implant?

Yes. Advanced Bionics has provided this information to make your journey easier. Bon voyage! 


Do I have to turn my sound processor off when the flight crew directs all electrical/digital devices to be turned off prior to takeoff and landing?

No. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has confirmed that Advanced Bionics cochlear implant recipients are EXEMPT from powering off their sound processors when instructions are given to turn off mobile phones, music players, or any electrical/digital device with an on/off switch. The FAA includes cochlear implants in the Hearing Aid category, exempting them from the requirement to be switched off. 


Do I have to remove my sound processor when going through airport security?

No.  Metal detectors and security scanners should not damage the implant or sound processor. However, cochlear implant recipients passing through security metal detectors and scanners may activate the alarm. It is advised that patients carry their “Patient Emergency Identification Card” with them at all times. Cochlear implant recipients also might hear a distorted sound caused by the magnetic field around the security scanner door or hand-held scanning wand. Turning the sound processor volume down before passing through security screening will ensure that those sounds, if they occur, are not too loud or uncomfortable. Cochlear implant recipients may request a full-body pat-down with visual and physical inspection of the sound processor in place of the standard metal detector or scanner with x-ray procedure. 


Should I send the processor through the x-ray machine?

X-ray machines will not damage the sound processor; however, x-ray machines have the potential to damage the microphones used in most cochlear implant systems and hearing aids. As a precaution, avoid placing these items in cargo luggage or carry-on luggage that are screened with x-ray machines. During airport security screening, the processor T-Mic™, and any spare parts carried should either be worn through the metal detector/scanner or examined by hand. 


Can I travel on planes with my rechargeable batteries?

Yes. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations on passengers traveling with lithium batteries can be found at safetravel.dot.gov. Per the regulations, passengers may not carry spare lithium batteries in checked luggage unless they are within a portable electronic device. However, any number of spare lithium batteries are allowed in carry-on baggage if they do not individually exceed 8 grams (~100 Watt hours) of equivalent lithium content.

All Advanced Bionics lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (PowerCel™ Slim, PowerCel Plus and PSP/S-Series™ batteries) have equivalent lithium content weighing less than 1g each, which falls well within the 8g limit.

When travelling, protect the battery terminals by using the blue plastic PSP/S-Series battery cover or the Harmony PowerCel battery pouches. For Naída CI PowerCel batteries, use PowerCel plastic covers or a sealable plastic bag. 


What is the BEA, and what services does it offer?

The Bionic Ear Association is a support network dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of persons impacted by hearing loss through education, awareness, mentoring, and support pertaining to cochlear implants. The BEA is a network of volunteer cochlear implant recipients and parents and relatives of cochlear implant recipients. tTheir services are available to help you Hear and Be Heard.

 


How can I get a Patient Emergency Identification Card?

If you do not have the identification card provided when you first received your cochlear implant, a replacement can be ordered by contacting Advanced Bionics Customer Service.

Call: +44 (0) 1223 847 888

Email: info.uk@AdvancedBionics.com

 


MRI FAQ's

Can I or my child have an MRI scan with an AB HiRes 90K™ series and HiRes Ultra cochlear implant?

Yes, See table below for details or visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region.

Type of Implant MRI Field Strength (T) Spatial gradient field (T/m) Max Head SAR (W/kg)
HiRes 90K* 1.5T** 2.5 T/m <1.0 W/kg
HiRes 90K Advantage 1.5T*** 2.5 T/m ≤ 1 W/kg
HiRes Ultra w/magnet1 1.5T 3.47 T/m ≤ 3.2 W/kg
HiRes Ultra magnet removed 3.0T**** 6.9 T/m ≤ 2.6 W/kg

*These devices are no longer sold in North America or the EU. (Please note that certain countries have approval for MRO with magnet in [¹]. Visit the country page to check or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region.)

**For MRI the magnet has to be removed

***In the USA, for MRI the magnet has to be removed

****For MRI, the magnet has to be removed


Can I or a loved one have an MRI scan with an AB CLARION cochlear implant?

MRI procedures cannot be performed for CLARION (C1.0, C1.2, and CII) Cochlear Implant recipients.

Visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


What is the most widely used MRI strength?

1.5T MRI is the most widely used strength of MRI by radiologists2.


Can I or my child undergo a non-conventional MRI with HiRes Ultra cochlear implant?

If higher image resolution is required, such as for fMRI or Arterial Spin Labeling, 3T MRI can be performed with the magnet removed with AB’s HiRes Ultra Implant as is the case with cochlear implants from all manufacturers. For these cases, your physician can easily remove the magnet and replace it through a simple procedure. Visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


Can I or my child undergo a non-conventional MRI with HiRes 90k series cochlear implant?

A 1.5T MRI can be performed with the HiRes 90k series cochlear implant based on labeling/approval in your country. Higher strength MRIs cannot be performed. For details, visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


Are there any available options for me or my child in place of a non-conventional MRI?

A CT scan based imaging may be an option.

Techniques such as CT myelogram or CT Angiography have been shown to be viable substitutes to MRI when appropriate3,4

Talk to your physician if a CT based imaging can be used in place of an MRI.


Are there any available imaging options in place of an MRI for me or a loved one who is a CLARION (C1.0, C1.2, and CII) Cochlear Implant user?

A CT scan based imaging may be an option.

Techniques such as CT myelogram or CT Angiography have been shown to be viable substitutes to MRI when appropriate3,4

Talk to your physician if a CT based imaging can be used in place of an MRI.


Can there be complications with MRI?

Be assured that Advanced Bionics engineers have performed all tests per Internationally recognized guidelines to ensure that MRI can be performed safely with HiRes Ultra, HiRes 90k Advantage, and HiRes 90k Cochlear Implants per the labeling. MRI is a complicated technique. In rare instances when the recommended precautionary measures are not followed, complications can occur with Cochlear Implants from any company.



References

1.

The procedure requires the use of the Antenna Coil Cover and following the head-bandage procedure as outlined in the Instructions for Use. Contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for the Instructions for use.

2.

Keith Loria. (2016) Technology Trends: MRI Time to Upgrade? – Considerations for the move from 1.5T to 3T. Vol 17 No. 2 P. 22

3.

Pross S. Sharon J. Lim M. Moghekar A. Rao A. Carey J. (2017) Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension after Vestibular Schwannoma Resection Due to an Unexpected Pathology: Tarlov Cysts. Cureus. May 19: 9(5)    

4.

Hanning U. Sporns P. Schmiedel M3, Ringelstein EB3, Heindel W2, Wiendl H3, Niederstadt T2, Dittrich R. (2017) CT versus MR Techniques in the Detection of Cervical Artery Dissection. Jun 2 [Epub ahead of print]    

Thank you for contacting us to assist with your hearing solutions. Count on us—to help you Hear and Be Heard™. A representative from Advanced Bionics will be in touch soon!

If your request needs immediate attention or you have additional questions, please contact info.uk@AdvancedBionics.com.

Contact Advanced Bionics


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Customer Service

Phone:  +44 (0) 1223 847 888