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Charles Limb


Chief of Otology, Neurology and Skull Base Surgery
Otologist, neurotologist and skull base surgeon
Hearing specialist and musician

Dr. Charles Limb is a specialist in ear disorders (otology), including neurological ear disorders (neurotology), as well as skull base surgery. He focuses particularly on treating hearing loss and auditory conditions. His expertise includes all surgeries of the temporal bone. Chief of the UCSF Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, he is also director of the UCSF Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center.

In his research, Limb has investigated the neural basis of musical creativity and has studied music perception in deaf individuals with cochlear implants.

Limb received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. He completed a residency and fellowship in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Center for Hearing and Balance, and a second postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Limb is the UCSF Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Previously, he was associate professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery and a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.

  • Education

    Yale School of Medicine, 1996

  • Residencies

    Johns Hopkins Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 2002

  • Fellowships

    Johns Hopkins Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 2003

  • Board Certifications

    Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology

  • Academic Title


I became a hearing specialist out of a deep love for musical experiences and a desire to help people suffering from hearing disorders.

Where I see patients (4)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    214 Ratings
    About our process
    Feb 19, 2023
    Dr. Limb is a most outstanding doctor. I feel so fortunate to have him as my physician.
    Feb 14, 2023
    Dr Limb is the best! Very attentive knowledgeable and kind.
    Feb 12, 2023
    Very professional
    Jan 27, 2023
    I have recommended Dr. Limb several times.
    Jan 25, 2023
    Dr Limb speaks carefully and considerately
    Jan 13, 2023
    Dr Limb is amazing. He spent so much time with me and was so concerned with my issues and taught me a lot. I really appreciate him.
    Jan 11, 2023
    Our whole family agreed that this is the best doctor experience we've ever had. He was kind understanding thorough compassionate and knowledgeable. Best bedside manner ever. We can not say enough about how much peace he brought the family by finally having some answers. Aside from being ridiculously backed up on surgeries it was 100% the best decision we made regarding doctors. He is a stellar gentleman with a true heart and passion for what he does. We cannot thank him enough for giving us the answers we have needed for months! Our son has suffered through this.
    Jan 09, 2023
    Dr Limb was excellant
    Dec 13, 2022
    Paste 10 gold stars into the 5-star limit for my doctor. I leave my appointments with him feeling well-informed reassured and fortunate to have him looking after me. I find It remarkable when a surgeon shows kindness and humor and Is relatable. Not what the profession necessarily rewards but for those of us with long-term monitoring ahead of eventual treatment these qualities lift considerably the burden of facing up to the situation. Dear UCSF if you let Dr. Limb get away. I am going with him.
    Dec 01, 2022
    Very personable and comforting. Relieved my worry and made me very confident in path ahead.
    Nov 23, 2022
    Dr. Limb is the best!
    Nov 18, 2022
    Wonderful staff!!!
    Oct 30, 2022
    Dr Limb was reflects UCSF in an outstanding way.
    Oct 28, 2022
    Dr. Limb is the best! I'm blessed to have e him as my Dr.
    Oct 14, 2022
    Like Dr Limb & his assistant. Was not happy about the wait time
    Oct 02, 2022
    It has been a pleasure working with the doctor. He always takes the time to listen and provide constructive input. And did not seem like he rushing to more on the his next patient.
    Oct 01, 2022
    Dr Limb is a highly knowledgeable and caring doctor. I was very happy with the amount of time he spent with me and the care I received
    Sep 25, 2022
    Dr.limb and staff were wonderful to me.
    Sep 22, 2022
    Dr. Limb is so wonderfulll kind and concerned
    Sep 16, 2022
    I mentioned this sinus infection I had for prior 2.5 years that I finally got under control a month prior. Looked in nose saw nothing but it clearly caused vertigo should have sent me to an ENT specialist.
    Sep 09, 2022
    I was elated with a simple solution.
    Sep 03, 2022
    One of the best. Felt very reassured that I was taken seriously and would be cared for even if we hit some bumps with treatment.
    Sep 02, 2022
    Dr. Limb is an excellent doctor. He listens and takes time with me. He has a calm and confident demeanor. I wish all my doctors were like him.
    Aug 30, 2022
    Dr Limb is the best care provider I have ever had.
    Aug 27, 2022
    Dr Limb was fantastic: he listened carefully to my history and explained in simple and clear language what his thoughts were about the diagnosis and what steps I had to take next. He was attentive and professional yet friendly and approachable.
    Aug 21, 2022
    Dr. Limb is the very best. Never in a rush always makes sure you understand everything he's telling you
    Aug 18, 2022
    Dr Limb is so kind caring and professional which made the visit pleasant as well as useful
    Aug 11, 2022
    Excellent explanation of possible root causes treatment options and side effects.
    Jul 29, 2022
    He was very knowledgeable and very professional
    Jul 29, 2022
    Excellent work
    Jul 22, 2022
    Dr Limb is outstanding. He listens and responds with excellent information and insights. He considers my concerns and really partners in treatment approach while being clear what his recommendations are and path for escalation should one be needed. He's very giod at responding to questions In a helpful way. I would highly recommend him and his staff Is also excellent!
    Jul 18, 2022
    Serious careful patient and professional
    Jul 15, 2022
    I only trust Dr.Limb with my ear problems. He's the best.
    Jul 15, 2022
    Have always received excellent care for all my otolaryngology issues.
    Jun 14, 2022
    Positive experuence and provided me with clear answers addressing my health concerns
    May 03, 2022
    Dr. Limb is the best!
    Apr 19, 2022
    Gave options and future care.
    Apr 06, 2022
    He's always friendly and thorough
    Mar 11, 2022
    I was amazed. I had to schedule follow ups with audiology for hearing tests and they called to schedule before I even got out the front door of the building
    Feb 18, 2022
    I can't say enough good things about Dr. Limb. He is kind extremely knowledgeable thoughtful and always makes time to answer any questions or concerns I have.
    Jan 25, 2022
    I love my care providers at UCSF as well as the support staff. My only complaint is that UCSF processes fail to support my direct requests for accommodations for my deafness and continue to call me on the phone instead of messaging me via MyChart. Additionally the 1000 character limit in MyChart is very frustrating when I have complex concerns that I can't phone about. Hopkins is able to support 2000 characters in MyChart showing that this is a UCSF policy and not a platform limitation.
    Dec 20, 2021
    Dr Limb is an excellent doctor
    Dec 17, 2021
    The information was clear and I had time to ask questions and to make decisions.
    Dec 17, 2021
    Dr. Limb is very courteous attentive and thorough in his explanations. It was good to see him on this follow-up appointment.
    Nov 07, 2021
    Nov 01, 2021
    I've been seeing Dr. Limb for years and he is always clear and listens.
    Oct 08, 2021
    Dr. Limb and his associate Dr. Harris both did a great job and should be commended for their professionalism and pleasant demeanor.
    Oct 01, 2021
    Dr. Limb was outstanding! I trusted his knowledge and advice and appreciated the time he took with me.
    Sep 29, 2021
    Top notch
    Aug 20, 2021
    Dr. Limb diagnosed something I have been looking for answers about for the last two years. He carefully presented all of my options made sure I understood and was kind and compassionate. I would recommend him to anyone who needs an ear surgeon. He lived up to his reputation and then some. So glad I found him.
    Jun 21, 2021
    Dr. Limb is very knowledgeable and makes certain I understand.
    Apr 29, 2021
    I trust Dr.Limb completely
    Apr 23, 2021
    Dr. Limb is very patient kind and professional. He went above and beyond to ensure that my mom who has hearing loss was well informed of what was happening and next steps. He made sure she understood everything as well.

    Selected research

    Decorative Caduceus

    CT Guided CI Programming

    The CNC word test consists of lists of monosyllabic (single syllable) words with equal phonemic distribution across lists. There are 50 words per list. Performance is calculated based on percentage of words correct (from 0 to 100)...