Vestibular Implant

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by Gene P, Oct 18, 2010.

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  1. Gene P

    Gene P New Member

    Hello folks, I'm new to this forum and wanted to introduce myself. I have had Meniere's for about 7-8 years, but was not diagnosed until late 2006. I then travelled to the UW Medical Center for a confirmation. I only have MD in my right ear with 45% hearing loss and multiple vertigo attacks each month. In 2009 I had a shunt implanted, which gave me relief for 5 months, after which the vertigo attacks returned. Since Feb of this year I have had 45 attacks. This last summer I returned to the UW to explore other options and was told of a new vestibular implant that the university was developing to control vertigo and other imbalance disorders. I was told that I would be a perfect candidate for this procedure, but that it had not yet been approved by the FDA and had only been used on 10 monkeys, but with success. I will be the first human to receive this implant.

    After waiting a few months I am now set to have the vestibular implant procedure this coming Thursday. Electrodes will be placed in the balance center of my inner ear and be attached to an implant (think cochlear implant). A electronics package will let be then simply push a button and no vertigo! Here's hoping. I will report back to this forum on how well it works in controlling the vertigo. Again, this is not a cure for MD, but a major step forward.
  2. tm53

    tm53 New Member

    Thanks for posting this Gene!
    Hope it does the trick for you. Please keep us posted.
  3. CarolineJ.

    CarolineJ. New Member

    Wow, interesting stuff Gene. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  4. Skye76

    Skye76 New Member

    So cool! We've been reading about this device from Dr. Rubenstein. Very exciting stuff. Please do let us know how it all works. We'll all be rooting for you!
  5. luckyswife

    luckyswife New Member

    So excited..please keep us it an invasive surgery.
  6. Spark

    Spark New Member

    This would be HUGE if it works out! We will keep you in our thoughts :)
  7. Gene P

    Gene P New Member

    Yes, it is invasive in that they need to get at the inner ear. But having already had the shunt implanted (2009), half of the operation has already been completed.

    And yes, Dr. Rubenstein, is my doctor and will be performing the procedure.
  8. survivedit

    survivedit New Member

    Godspeed Gene - wishing you great success.

  9. luckyswife

    luckyswife New Member

    This is awsome!I e-mailed Dr Rubenstein a while back in reference to this.Hesaid they are just now starting the procedure on humans.He said my status is a little more complex with already havig a vns on one side,but not out of the question.It simply needs to be tried on unilateral patients first.Please keep us posted and GOOD LUCK.
  10. Skye76

    Skye76 New Member

    I was just writing to you about this on your other thread! :) I do think something like this may be your answer. Let's hope this works well for Gene and all of the patients who will undergo the trials, and that it will soon be available for bilaterals. :)
  11. Gene P

    Gene P New Member


    Although the surgery will take place this week, it will be a week or two before they turn on the device. I will return the the UW and go through a series of tests that are meant to invoke vertigo. This is need to test the device, see if it works and then fine tune it to me. I have great confidence in my doctors and this procedure. As I said in my earlier post, they have implanted this in 10 monkeys, then would spin them until they had nystygmus, then "sap" them and then they were normal. You can consider me the 11th monkey.

    I just read your post and I would encourage you to not lose hope. Please feel free to message me anytime.

  12. katzefrau

    katzefrau New Member

    Good luck on your surgery, Gene! That is so amazing! Had read an article about it---hope they keep doing research---might be a huge breakthrough for Meniere's help!
  13. vikx

    vikx New Member

    Gene, I can't tell you welcome your news is!! I wish you the very best and an easy recovery. VK
  14. Lorrie K

    Lorrie K New Member

    Amazing to be the first to receive this! Hope all goes well and you have full relief from vertigo.
  15. Amethyst

    Amethyst She believed she could, so she did.

    Wow!!!! Can't wait to hear more!
  16. KTabc

    KTabc Cheese Head Dumbass

    Oh, Gene, you will be the star of the boards now!! PLEASE, please, please keep posting. This is such exciting news. So amazing to have such smart people. And, so brave of you to be the first human to test this--thank you!

    Good Luck and God Blessings

  17. chips

    chips New Member

    OMG this is wonderful news.... I do hope it goes well and there is indeed a breakthrough relief device for us all. Aft having four severe attacks in the last five days this would be a godsend.

    Good luck Gene and we're all in there with you.
  18. luckyswife

    luckyswife New Member

  19. Gene P

    Gene P New Member

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words, thoughts, encouragement and prayers! I'll send out an update from the other side of the operation and let you know how this implant works for me. I'll try to give you a regular update as I am impressed with the potential of this new technology and how many people here it may help.

    Thank you again,

  20. Amethyst

    Amethyst She believed she could, so she did.

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us!!!!

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