Advanced Surgeons Course


Advanced Subspecialty Training for Cochlear Implant Surgeons

Course Full
Upcoming Course Dates
Aug 22
Nov 21, 2024
Live web classes Thursday evenings 8:30-9:30p EST
Temporal Bone Lab: Stryker Labs Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 5
in collaboration with

Course Introduction

The ICIT Advanced Cochlear Implant Surgeons Course (ASC) is designed to add depth to the excellent training and experience provided in fellowship and beyond. This course provides 14 weekly didactic modules consisting of recorded lectures for on-demand viewing, self-correcting knowledge assessments, online discussion board moderated by faculty and, live interactive weekly web classes. The ASC culminates in a three-day, hands-on temporal bone lab dissection that ties everything together. The ASC non-surgical topics that underpin cochlear implantation are emphasized along with advanced surgical techniques such as hearing preservation, adaptive cochleostomy, controlling the three electrode insertion vectors, ossification, dysplasia, and very young children.


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

Course Format
: 14 Weekly Modules

Online Didactic Training

Recorded Lectures
  • Web based using Open LMS
  • Approximately 20 minutes
  • Available anytime during the module week
Recommended Readings
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
Weekly Live Web Classes
  • Taught by leading CI Surgeons
  • Thursdays 8:30 - 9:30 PM EDT | 5:30 - 6:30 PM PDT
  • Review and emphasize major points, case discussions, Q&A

The Complete CI Surgeon

Week 1 - MODULE 1: History and Basic Principles

Week 2 - MODULE 2: Applied Surgical Anatomy

Week 3 - MODULE 3: Micro-anatomy Cochlea and Central Auditory System

Week 4 - MODULE 4: Cochlear Implant Audiology

Week 5 - MODULE 5.1: Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Auditory Neuropathy

Week 6 - MODULE 5.2: Deficient Cochlear Nerve, ECochG Monitoring

Week 7 - MODULE 6: Imaging

Week 8 - MODULE 7, 8: Meningitis and Deaf Culture

Week 9 - MODULE 9, 10: Signal Processing, Tinnitus & Single Sided Deafness

Surgical Techniques

Week 10 - MODULE 11: Incision, Periosteal Pocket Technique

Week 11 - MODULE 12: Mastoidectomy, Facial Recess, Promontory

Week 12 - MODULE 13: Adaptive Cochleostomy & Electrode Insertion Vectors

Week 13 - MODULE 14.1: Difficult Cases

Week 14 - MODULE 14.2: Difficult Cases


Following the online module coursework will be a 3 day CI dissection course. Each surgeon will complete a series of nine electrode insertions using devices from the three CI manufacturers on 2 half-heads, and one isolated temporal bone. One temporal bone will be mock-ossified following initial electrode insertions. Each surgeon will receive individual training with robotic insertion. The TBL will be limited to 20 participants with three renowned instructors and several experienced assistants.  

Featured Techniques
  1. Fixation Of Receiver/Stimulator
  2. Hearing Conservation/Preservation
  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 Cochlea
  15. Printed Common Cavity Temporal Bones
  16. Printed Temporal Bone Of 12-Month-Old  

Course Director

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Past and Present

Temporal Bone Lab Gallery

Advanced Surgeons Course

Participant Reviews

Cameron C. Wick, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow University of Texas Southwestern Current: Associate Professor Washington University

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.

Peter Santa Maria, MBBS, PhD
Past: Neurotology Fellow Stanford University Current: Associate Professor Stanford University

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.

Muhammad Sohail Awan
Associate Professor Department of ENT Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi, Pakistan

I have found ICIT course to be a wonderful opportunity for cochlear implant surgeons started their carrier as well as those surgeons who have been doing implants for some time and want to improve their skills. Starting from the web classes which are very well organized in terms of content and delivery to the temporal bone lab., everything adds something to your knowledge and skills. I liked the concept of Compleat CI surgeon who should be knowledgeable about every aspect of the subject from basic and applied anatomy to the audiology, radiology, electronics so on and off course different surgical aspects. All these things were covered during the course.

Henri Traboulsi, MD
Past: Otology Fellow Christiana Care Medical Center Present: Assistant Professor Baylor University

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.

Kevin Peng, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow House Clinic Current: Associate House Clinic

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.

Nicholas Dewyer, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow Mass Eye and Ear Harvard Medical School Current: Assistant Professor University of Arizona

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 recommend this course to colleagues who have an interest in cochlear implantation.

Nicholas Jufas, MBBS (Hons), MS, FRACS
Past: Neurotology Fellow Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia Current: Senior Clinical Lecturer University of Sydney and Macquarie University Australia

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.

Hernan Goldsztein, MD
Past: Fellow, Mass Eye & Ear, Harvard Medical School Current: Pacific ENT Medical Group, Scripps Foundation Hospital

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.

Mark J. Van Ess, DO, FAOCO
Section Chair Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Mercy Clinic Springfield, MO

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.

Theodore Richardson McRackan, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow House Clinic Current: Associate Professor Medical University of South Carolina

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.

Candice Colby, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow University of Minnesota Current: Michigan Ear Institute

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!

Sagit Stern Shavit, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia & Cornell Current: Professor, Rabin Medical Center, Israel

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.

Seth E. Pross, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow, Johns Hopkins Current: Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, CA

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.

Michael D. Puricelli, MD
Past: Otology and Neurotology Fellow Paparella Ear Head and Neck, MN Current: Assistant Professor University of Wisconson

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.

Jameson K. Mattingly, MD
Neurotology Fellow OSU Wexner Medical Center

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.

J. Drew Prosser, MD
Past: Fellow Cincinnati Children's Hospital Current: Associate Professor Augusta University

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.

Ariel Grobman, MD
Associate South Florida ENT Associates

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.

Yuan Liu, MD
Neurotology Fellow MUSC

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.

Terence Imbery, MD
Past: Neurotology Fellow, University of Virginia Current: Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Medicine

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.