What happens before surgery?
Primary care doctors usually refer patients to ear, nose and throat doctors (ENT doctors or otolaryngologists) to test them to see if they are candidates for cochlear implants.
Tests often done are:
What happens during surgery?
The doctor or other hospital staff may:
What happens after surgery?
Immediately after waking, a patient may feel:
Then, a patient can expect to:
Can a patient hear immediately after the operation?
No. Without the external transmitter part of the implant a patient cannot hear. The clinic will give the patient the external components about a month after the implant surgery in the first programming session.
Why is it necessary to wait 3 to 6 weeks after the operation before receiving the external transmitter and sound processor?
The waiting period provides time for the operative incision to heal completely. This usually takes 3 to 6 weeks. After the swelling is gone, your clinician can do the first fitting and programming.
What happens during the initial programming session?
An audiologist adjusts the sound processor to fit the implanted patient, tests the patient to ensure that the adjustments are correct, determines what sounds the patient hears, and gives information on the proper care and use of the device.
Is it beneficial if a family member participates in the training program?
Yes! A family member should be included in the training program whenever possible to provide assistance. The family member should know how to manage the operations of the sound processor.
Do patients have more than one implant?
Usually, patients have only one ear implanted, though a few patients have implants in both ears.
How can I help my child receive the most benefit from their cochlear implant?
What can I expect a cochlear implant to achieve in my child?
As a group, children are more adaptable and better able to learn than adults. Thus, they can benefit more from a cochlear implant. Significant hearing loss slows a child's ability to learn to talk and affects overall language development. The vocal quality and intelligibility of speech from children using cochlear implants seems to be better than from children who only have acoustic hearing aids.
How important is the active cooperation of the patient?
Extremely important. The patient's willingness to experience new acoustic sounds and cooperate in an auditory training program are critical to the degree of success with the implant. The duration and complexity of the training varies from patient to patient.