Published on March 08, 2019

Ear, Nose and Throat Physician Performing Cochlear Implants

Photo of Said Sana, DO - Ear, Nose and Throat physician with MidMichigan Health.

Said Sana, D.O.
Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

In February 2018, a new surgical procedure was performed at MidMichigan Health for the first time. Otolaryngologist Said Sana, D.O., performed the first cochlear implant at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland.

A cochlear implant is used on individuals with profound hearing loss for whom hearing aids do not provide enough benefit. These tiny, complex medical devices work differently than hearing aids. Rather than amplifying sound, which helps an individual with residual hearing ability, a cochlear implant provides the sense of sound by stimulating the auditory nerve directly. Dr. Sana offers both Advanced Bionics and Cochlear America’s implants.

Dr. Sana is an otology fellowship-trained ear surgeon, and is trained in both medical and surgical care. “I enjoy working with people and decided to go into otolaryngology because of the complex procedures and precision required in performing these surgeries,” he said. “I continued my education and completed a fellowship in otology because I really enjoy being able to help patients regain their sense of hearing and dramatically improve the quality of their life.

Quite a bit of preparation goes into getting a patient ready for a cochlear implant. The patient needs to first meet with Dr. Sana to determine if hearing aids are an option, or if a different device would work better. Once the patient decides to move forward with the cochlear implant, preparations begin. This includes CT scans, a balance test, clearance from the patient’s primary care physician, two pneumovax vaccines and a cochlear implant consult with Central Michigan University (CMU).

While working with CMU, patients get to learn more about the device they are going to use, and choose which one is the best fit. Patients are also able to customize the implant by choosing its look, color and function. Dr. Sana has partnered with CMU to provide cochlear implant mapping and hearing rehabilitation post-operatively.

Once the test and consults are complete, patients meet with Dr. Sana, where he discusses the surgery. “When I meet with the patient, I inform them what will take place during the surgery, what expected outcomes may be and answer any questions they have,” he said. “After all of this takes place, we set a surgery date.”

After the surgery is complete, the patient will have a one-week and three-week post-operative visit with Dr. Sana. This is to ensure there are no complications, and the body is healing correctly. After four weeks, the patient returns to CMU, where their device is activated, and the patient is able to hear.

“There is six-month period of rehabilitation in which the patient works with CMU to learn how to use the cochlear implant – we compare it to someone learning how to ride a bicycle,” said Dr. Sana. “Most patients are quite happy with the results in six to 12 months.”

Those who would like to learn more about Dr. Sana may visit www.midmichigan.org/sana. Those who would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sana may contact his office at (989) 839-6201.