Advanced CI Surgeons' Training Course

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Course Introduction

The ICIT Advanced Cochlear Implant Surgeons' Course (ASC) offers 14 weekly modules consisting of recorded lectures for convenient viewing anytime, self-correcting knowledge assessments, online discussion board, live web classes and a hands-on temporal bone lab.

The ASC is designed to add depth to the excellent training and experience provided in fellowship. Non-surgical topics that underpin cochlear implantation are emphasized along with advanced surgical techniques such as hearing preservation, adaptive cochleostomy, controlling the three critical electrode insertion vectors, ossification, dysplasia, and very young children.



To see excerpts from the surgical courses, watch the video below.



Expertise in mastoidectomy and facial recess as well a minimum of ten cochlear implants completed as primary surgeon are required.


  • U.S. Surgeons $1250

  • Otology Fellows $1000

  • International Surgeons $1500

Plus cost of travel and lodging for the temporal bone lab in Valencia, CA.


Didactic Curriculum


1. History and Introduction to Cochlear Implantation

2. Applied Surgical Anatomy

3. Cochlea and Central Auditory System

4. Cochlear Implant Audiology for Surgeons

5. Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Auditory Neuropathy & Deficient Cochlear Nerve

6. Imaging: Cochlea & Temporal Bone

7. Cochlear Implant Candidacy

8. Deaf Culture, Ethical Considerations, Meningitis

9. Cochlear Implant Electronics & Signal Processing

10. Bilateral Cochlear Implants, Tinnitus & Single Sided Deafness


11. Incision & Fixation, Avoiding device migration and dural injury

12. Mastoidectomy, Facial Recess, Extended Facial Recess, Promontory

13. Adaptive Cochleostomy & Electrode Insertion for Hearing Conservation

14. Difficult Cases: Ossification, Dysplasia, Very Young Children, Device Failure, Reimplantation


Course Description

14 Weekly Modules

 Recorded Lectures

  • Web based using Blackboard

  • Approximately 20 minutes

  • Available anytime during the week

 Knowledge Assessments

  • Required score of 80%

  • Self-correcting

Instructor-monitored Discussion Board

  • Allows individuals to interact with the instructors and fellow participants - to ask questions and share experiences

Live web classes

  • 8:30 - 9:30 PM EST | 5:30 - 6:30 PM PST

  • Web-cam audio and video using Blackboard

  • Review and emphasize major points, case discussions, Q&A




Hands-on Microsurgery Temporal Bone Lab


Following completion of the online coursework, a 2½ day hands-on surgical training will be completed. Each surgeon will complete implantation using a half-head and two temporal bones. One temporal bone will be mock-ossified. Each surgeon will use the three dimensional insertion force monitor with an additional pre-dissected temporal bone. The TBL will be limited to 6 participants with two instructors and two experienced assistants. 

Featured Techniques:

  1. Fixation of internal cochlear stimulator

  2. Hearing conservation

  3. Anatomical dissection of promontory

  4. Adaptive cochleostomy

  5. Trajectory of Scala tympani

  6. 3 vectors of electrode insertion

  7. Surface preparation and drill-out

  8. Dissection of adjacent structures

  9. Facial nerve to geniculate

  10. Carotid artery

  11. Jugular bulb

  12. Tensor semicanal

  13. Insertion speed and force analysis

  14. Mock-Ossified Cochleas

  15. Printed common cavity temporal bones

  16. Printed temporal bone of 12-month-old



Advanced Surgeons' Course Program Instructors



Hotchkiss Professor and Chairman Emeritus
Professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine



Advanced Surgeons' Course
Participant Reviews

I learned so much from the ICIT Advanced Surgeons’ Course. It was an amazing opportunity to gain new perspectives from master surgeons who have critically evaluated their experiences with cochlear implantation and distilled their knowledge to pass on to students in this course. I have and continue to enthusiastically recommended this course to colleagues who have an interest in cochlear implantation.
— Nicholas Dewyer, MD Neurotology Fellow, Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School

The ICIT Advanced Surgeons’ Training Course reinforces the basics of cochlear implantation in addition to teaching advanced techniques for the otologic surgeon who is already comfortable with implants. The course material is presented in a comprehensive fashion and culminates in a valuable hands-on training experience in an excellent dissection facility.
— Kevin Peng, MD Past: Neurotology Fellow, House Clinic, Current: Associate, House Clinic
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The Institute for Cochlear Implant Training program offers a comprehensive review of cochlear implant history, technology, and surgical techniques. The weekly topics are covered through in-depth lectures and are supplemented by collegial discussions with many of the leading experts in the field. It is a great course! The hands-on approach provides a unique learning environment that fosters respect for the history of cochlear implant development and motivation to further advance the field.
— Cameron C. Wick, MD Past: Neurotology Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern, Current: Assistant Professor, University of Washington, St. Louis
This course is fantastic. Even though I have had a few years of cochlear implant surgery practice and I am ending a Neuro Otology fellowship I’ve learned many new things. The syllabus is comprehensive and covers all the issues a surgeon would encounter during a cochlear implant practice. I thoroughly enjoy the weekly classes with the instructors and I’m very grateful to the personal attention Dr Balkany places in our learning. I’d recommend this course as essential to anyone planning to start or early on in their implant practice.
— Peter Santa Maria, MD, PhD Past: Neurotology Fellow, Stanford University; Current: Assistant Professor, Stanford University
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I am able to say with certainty that this course is unique and extremely worthwhile. I already had surgical experience with a number of CIs, but this course was invaluable to take my understanding and skills to the next level.
— Nicholas Jufas, MBBS (Hons), MS, FRACS Past: Neurotology Fellow Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Current: Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sidney and Macquarie University, Austrialia
I can honestly say that the ICIT course has been the best course I have attended. The comprehensive lectures about the cochlear implantation, in addition to an excellent hands-on course in a great facility have made this course exceptionally unique, helpful and practical for surgeons.
— Mohammad Seyyedi, MD Previous - Neurotology Fellow, University of Minnesota; Present - Assistant Professor, Medical College of Georgia
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Superb experience. I would rate it as one of the best learning experiences I have participated in since completing residency and fellowship. I found the course to be of tremendous value. The topics and organizational structure of the course were superb. They challenged me to think more comprehensively about cochlear implantation. The faculty were actively involved and seem genuinely interested in our professional development. While I have had experience with cochlear implantation prior to the course I found this a tremendous opportunity to refine and - in many ways - add to my current knowledge base and practice patterns. It is always of value to read or study under the influence of such esteemed and experienced faculty and this course is no exception.
— Mark J. Van Ess, DO, FAOCO Section Chair, Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, Mercy Clinic, Springfield, MO
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The ICIT course is an outstanding opportunity for surgeons to...take their skills and knowledge to a higher level. I came in with a strong foundation from residency and neurotology fellowship, but I found the comprehensive topics covered in the course to fill many of the gaps that I didn’t even realize that I had. The course involves small group discussions, independent videos and weekly quizzes... I truly believe that my time in this course has made me a better advocate for my patients and a more skilled surgeon.
— Seth E. Pross, MD Past: Neurotology Fellow, Johns Hopkins, Current: Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, CA
I really enjoyed every minute of our online lectures and the hands-on training. I’m really grateful I’ve had this opportunity... I do feel much more confident about CIs and am very satisfied with the knowledge I acquired. I congratulate you on this comprehensive course, on the quality of the lectures, the material, the speakers, and the hands-on training.
— Henri Traboulsi, MD Otology Fellow, Christiana Care Medical Center
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I felt I had a decent exposure to CIs during residency and fellowship but the depth and breadth of the topics covered during the course really expanded my knowledge base. I feel more complete as a physician taking care of patients with different hearing needs.
— Hernan Goldsztein, MD Pacific ENT, San Diego
Participating in the Institute for Cochlear Implant Training program has greatly expanded my knowledge of cochlear implantation. The individual lessons combined with live on-line classroom teaching with world experts provides a level of comprehension that is unobtainable from any textbook. No matter their level of expertise, I feel everyone can gain from taking this course.
— Theodore Richardson McRackan, MD Past: Neurotology Fellow, House Clinic, Current: Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina
The Institute for Cochlear Implant Training has given me a deeper understanding of cochlear implantation. Having a weekly opportunity to pick the brain of leading experts in the field has been priceless!
— Candice Colby, MD Past: Neurotology Fellow, University of Minnesota; Current: Michigan Ear Institute
This course has been great. The online courses were nice because they made you do a little bit every week and the live web classes let us see how different people were doing things around the country and really discuss those.
— J. Drew Prosser, MD Past: Fellow, Cincinnati Children's Hospital; Current: Assistant Professor, Georgia Regents University
The advanced cochlear implant surgeon’s training course enhanced my foundation from residency and fellowship. All of the course faculty are leaders in the field and provide quality instruction. They expand on many challenging topics which were not encountered frequently during training. I can confidently say this course improved my clinical and surgical skills and will be instrumental as I develop my implant practice.
— Terence Imbery, MD Neurotology Fellow, University of Virginia
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This course reviewed the most current literature and expert opinion about a complete selection of topics. I gained insights that others appreciated over hundreds or thousands of cases that I will apply starting day 1 for my patients. This course sets a standard of knowledge and surgical skills for performance of cochlear implantation and ensures key foundations are understood, while introducing cutting edge concepts and innovations that will likely impact practice in the future.
— Michael D. Puricelli, MD Otology and Neurotology Fellow, Paparella Ear Head and Neck, MN
The ICIT training course was a great experience for me. The course was spearheaded by Dr. Thomas Balkany and other eminent guest lecturers who provide very valuable insight. The most valuable aspects of the course to me were the education on the many ways to perform a CI, what to do in challenging cases, and learning about patient selection and expected outcomes. The lab portion was very helpful.
— Ariel Grobman, MD Associate, South Florida ENT Associates
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“The ICIT Advanced Surgeon’s Course was outstanding. The lectures and temporal bone course were comprehensive, and both have really helped me think about the finer details of cochlear implantation, many of which would have been difficult for me to obtain despite being in a busy fellowship. I think this is an extremely valuable course for all those performing CIs.”
— Jameson K. Mattingly, MD Neurotology Fellow OSU Wexner Medical Center
“The weekly lectures were diverse and comprehensive and really enriched my understanding of cochlear implant surgery. The temporal bone experience was a great learning experience as well. I strongly recommend this course to every surgeon performing cochlear implantation.”
— Sagit Stern Shavit, MD Neurotology Fellow New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia & Cornell
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“I found the course to be comprehensive in covering all aspects of cochlear implantation, filling in knowledge gaps that I didn’t even realize I had. The online course material was very useful, and the temporal bone lab was important in better understanding important anatomy we don’t usually see in surgery.”
— Yuan Liu, MD Neurotology Fellow MUSC