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Cochlear Implant Program

Contact number | 202-476-3925
Provider uses Otoscope during Patient Exam.

Did you know that three out of 1,000 children in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area have hearing loss and could benefit from cochlear implant surgery?

Learn more

If your child has hearing loss, whether it is a partial or total inability to hear, it can dramatically impact his or her cognitive, linguistic and social development, making social interactions and the ability to learn difficult. He or she may benefit from cochlear implant surgery.

Our team can help guide you through this process before, during and after surgery, when we’ll provide you and your child with extensive support.

Choosing the Cochlear Implant Program at Children’s National

The Cochlear Implant Program at Children’s National performs approximately 50 cochlear implants each year, which is more than any other pediatric cochlear implant program in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Highlights of our program include:

  • World-renowned experts. Our team is comprised of pediatric specialists who treat children with all levels and types of hearing impairment and perform a wide range of surgeries to restore hearing. We have performed over 300 cochlear implant surgeries in the past 7 years and we operate on children as young as 7 months. Meet our team.
  • Care for all. Through our community health services and programs, we are able to expand access to care and provide cochlear implant surgery to more patients and families in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
  • A smooth and streamlined process. Our specialists provide seamless care before, during and after cochlear implant surgery, ensuring that your child receives quality care in the safest environment. We also ensure that your child has supportive psychosocial care as part of their long-term treatment post-surgery.
  • Supportive recovery. After implantation, we support patients through auditory habilitation, language intervention and close coordination between parents, schools and the implant center, which we feel is necessary to maximize effectiveness of the implantation and success of language skills development.

The Importance of Early Intervention for Hearing Loss

At Children’s National, infants who are identified with hearing loss first undergo a trial to assess the effectiveness of hearing aids. Infants who do not show improvement with hearing aids are evaluated by the Cochlear Implant Committee. This group of audiologists, speech therapists and otolaryngologists determine each infant’s candidacy for cochlear implant surgery.

Early intervention is key with cochlear implants because a child’s neuroplasticity peaks within the first two years of life, and over time the brain’s ability to adapt to – and make sense of – new stimuli declines. Without sensorineural stimulation, the auditory cortex begins to shut down and can no longer process sounds into meaningful data. This is why it is vital to have your child evaluated early for hearing loss.

Learn how cochlear implant surgery can help to restore your child’s hearing.

Contact Us

For more information about the Cochlear Implant Program, please call Racquel Jefferson, Cochlear Implant Program Coordinator, at 202-476-3925.

Molly's Story

Hearing Loss

Mollys Story

3-year-old Molly is obsessed with the movie “Frozen.” And like the fearless princess in Disney’s icy animated epic, there’s something very special about Molly. She was born deaf.

Molly's Story

Cochlear Implant Program Team

  • Diego Preciado

    Diego Preciado
    Division Chief, Ear, Nose, and Throat (Otolaryngology)
    Director, Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship
    Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program

  • Brian Reilly

    Brian Reilly
    Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program

  • Children's National Hospital

    Tracey Ambrose
    Lead Audiologist

  • Children's National Hospital

    Claire Buxton

  • Children's National Hospital

    Patricia Craun

  • Children's National Hospital

    Emily Fustos

  • Sherwood Holloway

    Sherwood Holloway
    Physician Assistant

  • Leslie Sofia Prado

    Leslie Prado
    Physician Assistant

  • Children's National Hospital

    Debra Anderson
    Speech-Language Pathologist