Service & Support
Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced Bionics is here to help you each and every step of the way on your journey to hearing. From online resources to our caring and informed customer service team, you can always count on AB.

What follows are some of the most frequently requested information regarding service and support. If you don’t find the answer to your question, contact AB Customer Service for assistance.


Services to Support You

AB’s customer service experts are well equipped to address your needs with a wide range of services, including:

  • Answer questions on hearing, cochlear implant technology, and financing
  • Find a cochlear implant clinic near you
  • Send you information
  • Put you in touch with helpful associations and organizations, such as the Bionic Ear Association
  • Provide phone, online chat, and paging accessibility
  • Troubleshoot technical issues
  • Ship replacement processors within 48 hours

How do I contact AB Customer Service?

There are three easy ways to contact AB Customer Service:

AB’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for more information.


How do I place an order for AB products?

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for more information.

Please contact Advanced Bionics Customer Service. A customer service representative will take your order and charge your debit or credit card. When you call, have your debit or credit card number and expiration date. AB accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.


Can I place an order online?

If you reside in the North America, you may place a secure online order for a limited set of products at AB’s Webstore. Before you can order from AB’s Webstore, you must first register with Advanced Bionics Customer Service. For security and privacy purposes, a user ID and password will be assigned to you upon confirmation that you or your child is a registered AB recipient. Upon receiving a user ID and password, purchases may be charged to your American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa card.

Note: Web orders will not be billed through insurance.

If you reside outside of North America, please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for more information.


A component of my AB cochlear implant system is not functioning properly, what should I do?

Please contact AB Customer Service. A customer service representative will determine which piece of equipment is malfunctioning. If the product in question is under warranty, the customer service representative will process a Return Materials Authorization (RMA).


How do I return a malfunctioning product back to Advanced Bionics?

Call AB Customer Service for a return Authorization number. When you receive the replacement product, you will also receive a postage-paid envelope. Please place the malfunctioning product in the postage-paid envelope and mail. 


How do I know if my equipment is under warranty?

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for more information. A customer service representative will look up your name in our database and let you know whether your equipment is under warranty. You may also review our standard warranty for products.


What should I do if a piece of equipment of my AB cochlear implant system is malfunctioning and no longer under warranty?

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region. A customer service representative will verify if the product is no longer under warranty and discuss your options. 


When will I receive my replacement product, and how will it be shipped?

Shipping times and methods vary by region. Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for more information.


What should I do if my sound processor is not working and is no longer under warranty?

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region. If you need your out-of-warranty sound processor repaired or replaced, a fee will be charged.


What should I do if I lose or accidentally damage my AB sound processor?

Please contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region to discuss your options.


Can I travel by plane with my cochlear implant?

Yes, air travel is safe for cochlear implant recipients. Please see Traveling by Air with Advanced Bionics Sound Processors.


Do I have to turn my sound processor off when the flight crew directs all electrical/digital devices to be turned off prior to takeoff and landing?

No. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has confirmed that Advanced Bionics cochlear implant recipients are EXEMPT from powering off their sound processors when instructions are given to turn off cell phones, music players, or any electrical/digital device with an on/off switch. The FAA includes cochlear implants in the Hearing Aid category, exempting them from the requirement to be switched off. Please see Traveling by Air with Advanced Bionics Sound Processors.


Do I have to remove my sound processor when going through airport security?

No. Metal detectors and security scanners should not damage the implant or sound processor. However, cochlear implant recipients passing through security metal detectors and scanners may activate the alarm. It is advised that patients carry their “Patient Emergency Identification Card” with them at all times. Cochlear implant recipients also might hear a distorted sound caused by the magnetic field around the security scanner door or hand-held scanning wand. Turning the sound processor volume down before passing through security screening will ensure that those sounds, if they occur, are not too loud or uncomfortable. Cochlear implant recipients may request a full-body pat-down with visual and physical inspection of the sound processor in place of the standard metal detector or scanner with x-ray procedure. Please see Traveling by Air with Advanced Bionics Sound Processors.


Should I send the processor through the x-ray machine?

X-ray machines will not damage the sound processor; however, x-ray machines have the potential to damage the microphones used in most cochlear implant systems and hearing aids. As a precaution, avoid placing these items in cargo luggage or carry-on luggage that are screened with x-ray machines. During airport security screening, the processor T-Mic™, and any spare parts carried should either be worn through the metal detector/scanner or examined by hand. 


Can I travel on planes with my rechargeable batteries?

Yes. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations on passengers traveling with lithium batteries can be found here. Per the regulations, passengers may not carry spare lithium batteries in checked luggage unless they are within a portable electronic device. However, any number of spare lithium batteries are allowed in carry-on baggage if they do not individually exceed 8 grams (~100 Watt hours) of equivalent lithium content.

All Advanced Bionics lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (PowerCel™ Slim, PowerCel Plus and PSP/S-Series™ batteries) have equivalent lithium content weighing less than 1g each, which falls well within the 8g limit.

When traveling, protect the battery terminals by using the blue plastic PSP/S-Series battery cover or the Harmony PowerCel battery pouches. For Naída CI PowerCel batteries, use PowerCel plastic covers or a sealable plastic bag. 


Why are batteries shipped ground?

All couriers require lithium batteries to be shipped ground only.


What is the BEA, and what services does it offer?

The Bionic Ear Association is a support network dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons impacted by hearing loss through education, awareness, mentoring, and support pertaining to cochlear implants. Staffed with a committed team of hearing health professionals and cochlear implant recipients, their services are available to help you Hear and Be Heard.

Some of the benefits and services of the BEA include:

  • Informative newsletters and announcements
  • Connecting with or becoming a cochlear implant mentor
  • Joining an online community and creating lifelong friends
  • Online listening tools and resources in English
  • Personalized support and technical assistance from BEA staff

Where can I get more information about the BEA if I still have questions?

The Bionic Ear Association at Advanced Bionics is available to support you.
HEAR@AdvancedBionics.com  |  844.863.7222

For outside of North America, please contact the Advance Bionics office in your region.


How can I get a Patient Emergency Identification Card?

If you do not have the identification card provided when you first received your cochlear implant, a replacement can be ordered by contacting Advanced Bionics Customer Service.

877.829.0026 US and Canada 
CustomerService@AdvancedBionics.com

For outside of North America, please contact the Advance Bionics office in your region.



Refund and Exchange Policy

  • If the accessory product is unused, unopened, and within 90 days of the date of purchase, AB will exchange the accessory product for the same product or a similar product at the same price. Advanced Bionics does not charge a restocking fee for exchanges or returns of CI accessories.
  • AB will refund an accessory purchase (not including shipping costs) if the product is unused, unopened, and within 90 days of the date of purchase.
  • Unfortunately, Advanced Bionics cannot exchange or refund any accessory product that is opened, used or outside of the 90-day return policy
  • Standard accessory products from an initial kit or upgrade kit are not exchangeable and cannot be returned to Advanced Bionics for a refund

What is AB's Service contract?

MRI FAQ's

Can I get an MRI if I have a cochlear implant? / Can my child get an MRI if they have a cochlear implant?

Yes. AB’s HiRes Ultra 3D cochlear implant is designed to be safe for MRI scans. In fact, it won the prestigious Medtech Breakthrough Award 2019 for Best Overall Medical Device Solution for its MRI-friendly design.

MRI scans are becoming more and more commonplace. However, these scans can be painful for CI recipients with older technology. Many recipients have to have surgery to remove the implant before the MRI, and yet another to put the implant back in afterwards. Beside the pain and the hassles, it also means a long period of time without hearing.

The special design of the HiRes Ultra 3D cochlear implant from AB means no pain or discomfort during an MRI, so it does not need to be taken out, and you can treat the scan like any other medical examination. The only thing that you have to do to get an MRI is to take off the sound processor and put it back on afterwards.


Can I or my child have an MRI scan with an AB HiRes 90K™ series and HiRes Ultra cochlear implant?

Yes, See table below for details or visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region.

Type of Implant MRI Field Strength (T) Spatial gradient field (T/m) Max Head SAR (W/kg)
HiRes 90K* 1.5T** 2.5 T/m <1.0 W/kg
HiRes 90K Advantage 1.5T*** 2.5 T/m ≤ 1 W/kg
HiRes Ultra w/magnet1 1.5T 3.47 T/m ≤ 3.2 W/kg
HiRes Ultra magnet removed 3.0T**** 6.9 T/m ≤ 2.6 W/kg

*These devices are no longer sold in North America or the EU. (Please note that certain countries have approval for MRO with magnet in [¹]. Visit the country page to check or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region.)

**For MRI the magnet has to be removed

***In the USA, for MRI the magnet has to be removed

****For MRI, the magnet has to be removed


Can I or a loved one have an MRI scan with an AB CLARION cochlear implant?

MRI procedures cannot be performed for CLARION (C1.0, C1.2, and CII) Cochlear Implant recipients.

Visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


What is the most widely used MRI strength?

1.5T is the most widely used strength of MRI carried out by radiologists2.


Can I undergo an MRI higher than 1.5T with HiRes Ultra cochlear implant?

If higher image resolution is required, such as for fMRI or Arterial Spin Labeling, 3T MRI can be performed by removing the magnet for AB’s HiRes Ultra Implant as is the case with cochlear implants from all manufacturers. For these cases, your physician can easily remove the magnet and replace it through a simple procedure. Visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


Can I or my child undergo a non-conventional MRI with HiRes 90k series cochlear implant?

A 1.5T MRI can be performed with the HiRes 90k series cochlear implant based on labeling/approval in your country. Higher strength MRIs cannot be performed. For details, visit MRI Safety Information or contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for details.


Are there any available options for me or my child in place of a non-conventional MRI?

A CT scan-based imaging may be an option.

Techniques such as CT myelogram or CT Angiography have been shown to be viable substitutes for MRI when appropriate3,4

Talk to your physician if a CT based imaging can be used in place of an MRI.


Are there any available imaging options in place of an MRI for me or a loved one who is a CLARION (C1.0, C1.2, and CII) Cochlear Implant user?

A CT scan based imaging may be an option.

Techniques such as CT myelogram or CT Angiography have been shown to be viable substitutes for MRI when appropriate3,4

Talk to your physician if a CT-based imaging can be used in place of an MRI.


Can there be complications with MRI?

Be assured that Advanced Bionics engineers have performed all tests per Internationally recognized guidelines to ensure that MRI scans can be performed safely with HiRes Ultra, HiRes 90k Advantage, and HiRes 90k Cochlear Implants per the labeling. MRI is a complicated technique. In rare instances when the recommended precautionary measures are not followed, complications can occur with cochlear implants from any company.



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REFERENCES

1.

The procedure requires the use of the Antenna Coil Cover and following the head-bandage procedure as outlined in the Instructions for Use. Contact the Advanced Bionics office in your region for the Instructions for use.

2.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Sheffield SW, Spahr AJ, Teece K, Olund AP. (2014). Availability of binaural cues for bilateral cochlear implant recipients and bimodal listeners with and without hearing preservation. Audiol Neurotol. 19(1):57-71. PMID: 24356514

3.

Pross S. Sharon J. Lim M. Moghekar A. Rao A. Carey J. (2017) Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension after Vestibular Schwannoma Resection Due to an Unexpected Pathology: Tarlov Cysts. Cureus. May 19: 9(5)    

4.

Hanning U. Sporns P. Schmiedel M3, Ringelstein EB3, Heindel W2, Wiendl H3, Niederstadt T2, Dittrich R. (2017) CT versus MR Techniques in the Detection of Cervical Artery Dissection. Jun 2 [Epub ahead of print]    


Thank you for contacting us to assist with your hearing solutions. Count on us—a community of hearing health professionals and recipients of cochlear implants—to help you Hear and Be Heard™. A representative from Advanced Bionics will be in touch soon!

If your request needs immediate attention or you have additional questions, please contact hear@AdvancedBionics.com.

We're here to help

The Bionic Ear Association (BEA) is comprised of caring professionals and a dedicated team of volunteers who provide you and your loved ones with information, education, and support for choosing, getting, and living with cochlear implants.

 






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