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Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

Eligibility for the cochlear implant program


Potential candidates for the cochlear implant program must be referred by a physician. A referral form must be printed, completed and sent to us via mail, or faxed to 416-480-5761 or 416-480-4201. An appointment may then be set up for you.

We do not accept referrals for cochlear implant candidates from other Canadian provinces (unless funding is transferrable). We will consider out-of-country referrals for non-residents on a case-by-case basis, through external funding.

Ontario residents who hold a valid health card are eligible for coverage under the Ministry of Health’s plan for surgical care, hospital stay, and audiological support. There are personal costs that are not included, such as batteries, post-warranty repairs, and for upgrades.


Candidacy is considered on an individual basis. Current Health Canada and FDA criteria state that an adult (18 years or older) must demonstrate a moderate to severe/profound sensorineural hearing loss and have limited benefit from optimally fitted amplification. Our program considers candidacy for adults who were deafened after learning spoken language (post-lingually deafened) as well as for adults who lost their hearing from birth or in early childhood (pre-lingually deafened) but are oral communicators. Other factors we consider in candidacy include the integrity of the auditory nerve and cochlea, a patient’s ability to undergo surgery, and patients’ expectations and motivation.

For auditory brainstem implant (ABI) candidacy, patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), or those with bilateral inner ear hearing losses who are not eligible for a cochlear implant may be appropriate. Patients must be 12 years old or older with appropriate expectations. Extensive counselling and auditory training are critical to success.

Location and contact

Department of Otolaryngology

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, 1st floor, room M1 102
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone numbers »

Otolaryngology Clinic:


Hearing Aid:

Cochlear Implant:

Fax »


Hours »

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Referral forms »