Q1. What is the ideal age to implant a young child?
We believe that a one year old identified as being profoundly deaf would be a very good candidate for a cochlear implant.
Q2. How long will a patient be in the hospital for cochlear implantation?
Cochlear implantation is performed as an outpatient procedure. That is, you will go home the same day of surgery in most cases. Some factors that cause a patient to stay over night in the hospital include extreme nausea, dizziness or other medical factors. Nearly all patients will go home the same day of surgery.
Q3. How long will the surgery take?
The surgery lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours and is done under general anesthesia. A small portion of hair is shaved in the area behind the ear. The receiver is embedded under the skin behind the ear and the electrodes are placed in the cochlea through a channel created by your surgeon in the mastoid bone.
Q4. What are the possible risks of surgery?
As with all surgery, there are risks. Risks associated with cochlear implantation include infection, bleeding, imbalance, dizziness, taste disturbance on the side of the tongue undergoing surgery, and, rarely, facial nerve weakness. Fortunately, most risks/complications are unusual and when they do occur, these side effects are often short-lived.
Q5. 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.
Q6. 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.
Q7. 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.
Q8. 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.
Q9. Do patients have more than one implant?
Usually, patients have only one ear implanted, though a few patients have implants in both ears.
Q10. Will my child still be able to use a hearing aid in the other ear?
If the opposite ear is able to hear somewhat, a hearing aid worn opposite a cochlear implant can provide important sound cues and enhance sound quality. The Adventist Pediatric Audiology and Cochlear Implant Program recommend that your child try using a hearing aid in the other ear only after a period of adapting to the cochlear implant. Your audiologist will recommend a timetable to maximize getting used to the new implant and when to start using the hearing aid and implant together.
Q11. How can I help my child receive the most benefit from their cochlear implant?
Try to make hearing and listening as interesting and fun as possible ·
Encourage your child to make noises ·
Talk about things you do as you do them ·
Show your child that he or she can consciously use and evaluate the sounds he or she receives from his or her cochlear implant ·
Realize that the more committed you, your child's teachers, and your health professionals are to helping your child, the more successful he or she will be.
Q12. 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 is critical to the degree of success with the implant. The duration and complexity of the training varies from patient to patient.