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Thread: Envoy Esteem Experience

  1. #1

    Default Envoy Esteem Experience

    I had the implant here in Houston on June 12. I live in Houston. Full cost (Medicare and United Health Care does not cover this) was a flat $30,000. The surgery was about 4 1/2 hours and I went home the same day. (I wouldn't recommend having to travel for a couple of days) I felt crappy for a couple of days after, likely as a result of the anesthesia, but only minor pain controlled fine with Tylenol. The incision has healed up nicely and the only restriction is to keep water out of the ear until activation. The scar is almost not visible, as it runs just behind the ear. Slight bump above and behind the ear where the processor/battery is placed.

    I am now operating on one aid in one ear during the 2 month waiting period for it to be activated on Aug 14. They wait this time to let the middle ear heal and fluid to go away. I'll post more in a month. It takes a bit of fooling around but you can find good information on the envoymedical web site.
    Chuckster in Houston

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  2. #2

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    Great to hear. Hope the healing goes well. Let us know how the activation goes.
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  3. #3

    Default Alquiler de Apartamentos en Marina Dor

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  4. #4

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    Regarding the activation. It went as scheduled. They "turn it on", make a number of adjustments and settings (just as with a regular aid) and you start on a program of gradually increasing the volume setting in a series (for me anyway) of 15 steps; one every 3 days or so for a period of another 2 months. This lets you get accustomed to the sounds, etc. Then back in for final adjustments where they set up the 3 optional programs and associated volume settings. I have had no "medical" issues with the implant. And I greatly appreciate not having to take something in and out with rain, shower, sweating, etc.. The control is a bit big to carry around but works fine. As an engineer I tend to "fiddle" with such things, but I can see where most people would set it and forget it at some point.

    My experience so far.. I am pleased with everything except clarity. Voices sound a bit "Donald Duck" like when listening to TV or radio... but my old aids were not a lot different. I am hoping that will improve with the next step in adjustments. I usually wear my hearing aid in the other ear during the day and that helps most situations. At this point I am glad I got the procedure, but there are a number of factors one should be fully aware of and consider carefully. I'll elaborate more on this in another month or so.

    UPDATE Oct 11, 2012
    I went back to the Envoy Center in The Woodlands, Houston, Tx for the second round with the audiologist after her initial activation of the device two months ago. At this session, she checked the device for proper operation, and went through an extensive procedure of setting the three program options and the 6 volume settings. So now I have the Esteem in one ear, and my original remaining Bernafon Verite in the other. As I had hoped in the above, the programing and settings did help the clarity of voices issue. Although I have now only had these settings for less than 24 hours, I think they will be fine. I am resigned to the fact that no device or aid returns hearing to what might be considered "normal"... but the Esteem is as good as my Bernafon and has many other advantages. I can get along fine around the house with just the Envoy and think that will be my normal mode. In addition to nothing at all being visible (an advantage I personally don't care about) it is great being able to sweat, shower, and swim and have nothing to worry about losing when working in the yard. For periods of watching TV or when "in public" I will wear the external aid as well, as that does definitely help in fidelity and clarity.

    Summary: The Envoy people have been first class with all of their professionalism and interactions. I have had clear and timely responses to my phone and email questions over the last several months. Their facilities and people here in the Houston area are first class. I have no regrets or second thoughts since undergoing the surgery in June 2012. There are, however, some significant issues to which one should give full consideration:
    1. It is expensive.. $30,000 + and not covered by insurance (although I understand they are working hard to get this changed)
    2. It is a major surgery, with those associated risks.
    3. It is reversible if necessary, but who would want to have to do that.
    4. It does impact one's sense of taste a bit. They say this goes away in time, but so far, mine has not changed. This isn't a big negative to me, but could be if you have an extensive investment in fine wines.
    5. It is a definite plus (and a psychological comfort) to be within a 45 minute drive from home to the facility. This was particularly true in the two months after the surgery. Although I have no facts, I doubt that most audiologists would have the training or the equipment to set and adjust the device, at least until use is much more widespread.

    If you have specific questions or would like a personal email response, feel free to leave a post to that effect.
    Last edited by Chuckster; 10-12-2012 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Update: Oct 11, 2012
    Chuckster in Houston

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  5. Default

    hello chuckster
    I would like how is your hearing now spend 2 years .
    are you listen good music , talk with people?
    i hope your answear
    thank you

  6. Default esteem

    hello chuckster
    I would like how is your hearing now spend 2 years .
    are you listen good music , talk with people?
    i hope your answear
    thank you

  7. #7

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    I am still not sorry I got it... but have to say that, for me, it does not improve the quality of hearing in that ear more than the hearing aid I had in it before. There are still all the advantages I mentioned two years ago... but the clarity of hearing in that ear is not much improved. It might be very different for others, however. Also, the Envoy center in Houston "closed down" a year ago... so that advantage is also gone.

    Having said all that... I still think it might be a good option for some people with some kinds of hearing loss... just understand the issues I have mentioned

    - - - Updated - - -

    I am still not sorry I got it... but have to say that, for me, it does not improve the quality of hearing in that ear more than the hearing aid I had in it before. There are still all the advantages I mentioned two years ago... but the clarity of hearing in that ear is not much improved. It might be very different for others, however. Also, the Envoy center in Houston "closed down" a year ago... so that advantage is also gone.

    Having said all that... I still think it might be a good option for some people with some kinds of hearing loss... just understand the issues I have mentioned
    Chuckster in Houston

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Hi, Chuckster. I VERY much appreciate your informative posts! Considering Esteem, but given the huge commitment
    (surgery, expense, travel 400-miles to nearest provider) so I'm reluctant to jump in without getting as much info as possible.
    Thanks again!
    -kate. (in Northern California)

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