Before Cochlear Implant Surgery
It is very important to discuss with your surgeon before undergoing cochlear implant surgery and find out if this surgery is appropriate for you or not. Your surgeon will evaluate your hearing ability through the following steps before advising you to undergo cochlear implant surgery:
- Tests of hearing, speech, and sometimes balance
- Physical examination to assess the health of the inner ear
- CT or MRI imaging of the skull to assess the condition of the cochlea and structure of the inner ear.
- Sometimes, psychological testing to determine the ability to learn to use cochlear implants.
The Procedure for Cochlear Implant
A cochlear implant is a surgical method performed in a clinic or hospital. The length of the surgery is about 2 to 4 hours. Cochlear implant surgery performs under general anesthesia.
The surgeon makes an incision behind the ear to open the mastoid bone. Then the implant electrodes will be inserted into the cochlear nerve and then an electronic device called the receiver will be placed under the skin behind the ear.
Activation of Cochlear Implant
After the surgery, the cochlear implant must be activated by an audiologist as follows:
- Adjust the sound processor to fit you or your child
- Check the components of the cochlear implant to make sure they work
- Determine what sounds you or your child hears
- Give you information on the proper care and use of the device
- Set the device so that you can hear to the best of your ability
Recovery Period for Cochlear Implant
You will be given some instructions on how to care for the incisions when you are released from the hospital. You may experience pain, fever, or drainage after the surgery for a few days which is normal. If these complications last more or increase, you should report to the hospital or surgeon immediately. You can wash your ear as normal 2 days after the surgery. you should be careful about the incisions when you are changing your clothes. Your follow-up appointment will be arranged for 1 week after your surgery.