Hearing things clearly

MASON CITY, Iowa – Medical advancements have been happening for years as technology and access to new information is becoming more and more available, and thanks to these advancements, one area woman’s life has changed forever.

Jan Collins has been dealing with 60% hearing loss in her right ear since childhood and feels as though she has tried just about everything to get it fixed.

“I’ve probably had six or seven surgeries over the years,” she says, “I’ve been dealing with it since, well for 40 plus years.”

She calls herself, a “child of the times” since new procedures that would come out would immediately be on her radar and she was one of the first in line to give it a shot.

Thanks to the advancements we’ve seen with technology over the years, there is now new procedure that surgically places an implant directly into the brain.

Dr. Henry Disselmann with the Mason City Clinic says that it’s a relatively short procedure, but difficult since the implant deals so closely to the brain.

“With osteointegrated implants they have the ability to deliver sound directly into the skull and have the skull transmit that sound to the ear, so it can bypass the actual external portions of the ear and get the sound where it needs to go,” Disselmann explains.

However, this isn’t a procedure for everyone.

Patients who undergo this surgery are often times partially deaf and are unable to use external forms of hearing aids, either because their hearing is too far gone, or they have no remaining parts of their outer ear structure.

Even though this impacts a select group of people, Dr. Disselmann says there is definitely still a need as he has performed the procedure on two patients already this week.

Collins says that this new technology is proof that this advancement can change lives and says, “I could hear things I hadn’t heard in years and it brought me to tears, I just thought, ‘this is a truly amazing thing to be able to hear now,’ and I just sat there and listened.”

On top of the success of this groundbreaking technology, the Mason City Clinic is proudly celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

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