What is it?
Cochlear implants are used to replace the function of the cochlea, the part of the ear that sends sound signals to the brain. These implants can help people who aren’t helped by hearing aids or have moderate hearing loss in either one or two ears.
How should I prepare?
Patients interested in cochlear implants will need to go through a series of tests before the procedure is considered an option. It is important that patients talk to their doctor about the medications they are takings and any allergic reactions they have had in the past.
What Happens During the Process?
First, the patient will be put under general anesthesia. As the child drifts to sleep, surgeons will shave the hair around the ear so there is a clear work area. Once the patient is in a deep sleep the surgeons will drill into the bone to reach the cochlea from behind the ear lobe. This creates a place for the receptor and the magnet to rest and not move around in the ear. Once the cochlear implants are placed the incision will be closed with dissolvable stitches. As the patient continues to rest, doctors will test the cochlear implants to make sure they are working correctly.
What are the risks and potential complications?
- Allergies to anesthesia
- Immediately after surgery patient may feel dizzy (this goes away with time)
- Damage to facial nerve (leads to weakness on
- one side of the face)
- Cerebrospinal fluid leak
- Implant doesn’t work
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