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Date Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Date Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Westchester Medical Center First in New York to Use Robotic-Assisted System to Help Restore Hearing Loss

The pioneering procedure was successfully performed by Katrina Stidham, MD

news item

VALHALLA, N.Y. (May 14, 2024) - WMCHealth’s Westchester Medical Center is the first hospital in New York State to complete a cochlear implant procedure with a new, FDA-approved robotic-assisted cochlear implant insertion system. The pioneering procedure was successfully performed by Katrina Stidham, MD, Westchester Medical Center’s Section Chief of Neurotology and the Medical Director of the Cochlear Implant Center at Westchester Medical Center.

The new iotaSOFT® Insertion System empowers Dr. Stidham to place the implant within the cochlea (the hearing organ of the inner ear) more precisely and with less trauma. As a result, patients may experience better retention of prized natural hearing. 

Giving the Gift of Sound

A cochlear implant is a specialized device that enables individuals with hearing deficits – even those with significant hearing loss – to perceive sound and speech. A cochlear implant stimulates nerve cells in the inner ear, sending signals to the brain. In doing so, the cochlear implant bypasses the problem affecting individuals with significant hearing loss that prevents them from benefiting from other types of hearing enhancements. 

Katrina Stidham, MD
Katrina Stidham, MD

Use of the iotaSOFT Insertion System – the first FDA-approved robotic-assisted cochlear implant insertion system approved for use in patients 12 years of age or older - gives skilled surgeons like Dr. Stidham more control over the implant procedure while improving placement accuracy by applying significantly less insertion force than manual methods allow. 

“It’s important for people to have advanced options when it comes to treating their hearing loss,” explained Dr. Stidham. “Many people considering cochlear implants are understandably concerned about the loss of residual hearing. By decreasing trauma, the robotic system can help preserve residual hearing, making cochlear implants a viable option for a larger percentage of the hearing loss population. This is a wonderful investment by Westchester Medical Center from which many in our community will benefit.”

Regional Leader in Cochlear Implant Services

Dr. Stidham and her colleagues at Westchester Medical Center’s Cochlear Implant Center serve as the premier providers of cochlear implant services in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Dr. Stidham, the program’s clinical leader for more than a decade, has performed hundreds of successful cochlear implant surgeries during her career.

The Cochlear Implant Center at Westchester Medical Center provides coordinated audiology and speech-therapy services for children and adult cochlear-implant patients and those considering this life-changing technology. Those seeking to learn more about cochlear implants, to schedule an appointment with a cochlear implant specialist, or to refer a patient should call 914.493.4634.


About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth on Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.

Image courtesy of iotaMotion