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  Cochlear Implant


Cochlear Implantation

Your doctor will likely do some or all of the following:

Ear (otologic) evaluation : The middle and inner ear are examined to check for infection or abnormalities.

Hearing (audiological) evaluation : Your Audiologist will do an extensive hearing test that measures how well you hear.

Imaging : An MRI & CT scan is taken to evaluate the anatomy of your inner ear.

Physical examination : This includes a medical history and physical examination to insure that general anesthesia is safe.

Psychological evaluation : May be recommended to determine how well you are likely to cope with a cochlear implant.

Implantation : Surgery under general anesthesia is required to implant the internal components. The receiver / stimulator assembly is placed inside the temporal bone and the electrodes are inserted into the cochlea, which in turn directly stimulates the hearing nerve. The implantation procedure usually takes about one to two hours.

Mapping & switch on : After three to four weeks the incision should be healed. At this point, the programming of the speech processor will be carried out and the external parts of the implant will be hooked up. The implantee will begin to hear then.

Auditory Verbal Therapy : Children who are not exposed to the hearing world must undergo extensive habilitation to improve their speech, language and hearing skills.

Possible Complications
Post surgical infection at the site of implantation
Damage to the facial nerve
Permanent damage to balance organs in the ear (rare)
Emotional distress due to higher expectations than the technology can achieve

Postoperative Care
You will have frequent follow-up visits for the following:
Headpiece fitting, done 3-4 weeks after surgery
Adjustments to the speech processor (mapping)
Ongoing evaluation of hearing status
Auditory Verbal Therapy

You'll have cochlear implant training to improve your ability to:
Identify sounds
Read lips
Develop speech skills

A cochlear implant should improve the ability to sense sound. Most people with cochlear implants can hear soft to loud sounds and recognize speech at normal decibel levels. The outcomes will vary depending on the age of initial deafness, period of effective hearing aid use, speech & language therapy during the early childhood days, mode of communication, motivation, condition of the nerve fibers, general health etc.

Call your Doctor if any of the following occurs
Dizziness or vomiting
Facial paralysis
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
Cough, shortness or breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting


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