UC Davis Pediatric OtolaryngologyThe Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at UC Davis is a multidisciplinary program specializing in the care of infants, children, and teenagers with hearing loss. Our team is comprised of specialists in audiology, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat surgery), speech-language pathology, social work, and child development.

Hearing conditions we treat:

  • Congenital hearing loss – both genetic and acquired
  • Progressive hearing loss
  • Inner ear malformations
  • Hearing loss due to meningitis or other exposures in the environment
  • Hearing loss associated with other syndromes/conditions

Our team is often involved from the very earliest point of hearing loss identification through the journey of hearing aid fitting to – if determined to be necessary – cochlear implantation and subsequent aural habilitation to ensure the best outcomes for each individual child.

We understand that each child and family has unique challenges they face, and implant surgery is only the beginning of the journey. The evaluation process will likely require multiple tests and visits with a number of professionals. Here are some steps and people you may encounter along the way:

Audiologic Testing

Multiple hearing tests are administered to determine if a child is a candidate for a cochlear implant.

These tests may differ based on your child’s age and stage in development, and will be with and without hearing aids. Always bring your child’s hearing aids to the appointment.

Medical Evaluation

You and your child will meet with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to determine if other testing or consultation is recommended. You may wish to discuss with relatives beforehand if there is any history of early/childhood hearing loss in the family.

UC Davis Pediatric OtolaryngologyRecommended tests may include:

  • Genetic testing
  • Testing for infections
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Imaging (CT or MRI)
  • Recommended specialists may include:
  • Genomic medicine (genetics)
  • Ophthalmology (eye/vision specialists)
  • Developmental pediatrician

Recommended preventative measures include:

  • Up-to-date childhood vaccination schedule
  • Cochlear implant specific vaccination recommendations (see below)

Speech-Language and Communication Evaluation

Speech, language, and communication can be assessed at any age and will occur during the course of a cochlear implant evaluation.

Psychosocial/Educational Assessment

After evaluations are complete, the team will meet to discuss candidacy for each patient and determine if a cochlear implant is right for your child.

Surgical Consultation

Once a child is determined by the team to be a candidate for cochlear implantation, your otolaryngologist will discuss in detail what to expect with cochlear implant surgery and a device will be selected.

Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Programming

Our pediatric audiology team will work with you and your child throughout the evaluation and treatment process to ensure that your child’s device programming is individualized to his/her needs . Initial programming may require frequent visits at first, but will later be on an as-needed basis only.

As a comprehensive resource center, services are available to referring physicians and surgeons who may request diagnoses, second opinions, treatment options, and/or a definitive treatment plan. 

Outside Physician Referral: (800) 482-3284

Core Team Members

Audrey Bracchi

Audrey Bracchi, Au.D.
Senior Audiologist

Samantha McKinney

Samantha McKinney, Au.D.
Senior Audiologist

Dave Sheaffer

Dave Sheaffer, M.A.
Senior Audiologist

Hilary Brodie

Neurotology

Rodney Diaz

Neurotology

Jamie Funamura

Pediatric Otolaryngology

Monika Steinke, CCC-SLP

Monika Steinke, CCC-SLP
Speech Therapy

Susan Ho, LCSW

Susan Ho, L.C.S.W.
Social Work

CDC Cochlear Implant Vaccination Guidelines

Prevnar (PCV13) vaccination recommended for all patients who have or are candidates for cochlear implantation.
Pneumovax (PPSV23) vaccination recommended after the age of 2 who have or are candidates for cochlear implantation.
For more information, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/hcp/dis-cochlear-gen.html