What to expect post a cochlear implant surgery

Cochlear Implant

What happens after a cochlear implant surgery

Cochlear implant surgery offers numerous benefits for individuals with hearing loss. By bypassing damaged or non-functioning parts of the inner ear, a cochlear implant directly stimulates the auditory nerve, allowing for improved sound perception and speech understanding.

This surgical intervention can significantly enhance the quality of life for those with severe to profound hearing loss, enabling them to communicate more effectively, participate in conversations, enjoy music, and engage with their surroundings. Cochlear implant surgery opens up a world of sound and provides an opportunity for individuals to reconnect with the auditory world, fostering independence, social interaction, and overall well-being.

Overall, cochlear implant surgery provides a life-changing solution for those with severe hearing loss, offering the opportunity to reconnect with the world of sound, foster meaningful connections, and embrace a more fulfilling and inclusive lifestyle.

Before leaving the hospital or surgery center, one will receive instructions on:

  • How to do the dressing changes and care for the stitches
  • When to resume washing the area around the incision (usually a day or two after surgery)

During a follow-up appointment, approximately one week after surgery:

  • The ENT specialist will inspect the incisions and remove one’s stitches
  • It is typically recommended to wait three to four weeks for the area to heal before activating the cochlear implant
  • Any increased pain, swelling, drainage, or fever should be reported to the ENT specialist following the procedure

For a short time after the surgery, an adult or a child may experience:

  • Pressure or discomfort over the ear with the implanted device
  • Dizziness or nausea

Most individuals feel well enough to return home on the same day of the surgery.

The device will be activated by an audiologist.

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  • After the surgery, one will be taken to the recovery area until the anesthesia wears off, which may take a few hours.
  • One may experience some pressure or discomfort around the implant area as the anesthesia wears off.
  • Once the ENT specialist is satisfied with the progress, one will be allowed to go home.
  • A bandage will likely be placed around one’s head to protect the incision site, and instructions will be provided on how to care for and remove the bandage.
  • Normal activities can usually be resumed by one a few days after the surgery, but extra care should be taken around the implant area.
  • The ENT specialist will inform one when the implant can be activated and paired with a sound processor, typically around three to four weeks after the surgery.

For the activation of the cochlear implant, an audiologist will:

  • Adjust the sound processor so that it fits one’s needs
  • Examine the parts of the cochlear implant to make sure that they are functioning properly
  • Configure the sounds one can hear
  • Provide one with proper information on the correct care and use of the device
  • Set the device so that one can hear to the best of their ability

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  • Rehabilitation focuses on training one’s brain to understand sounds received through the cochlear implant.
  • Speech and everyday environmental noises may sound different compared to one’s previous experience.
  • The brain requires time to familiarize itself with these new sounds and understand their meaning.
  • Wearing the speech processor consistently during waking hours is crucial for optimizing the rehabilitation process.
  • Regular follow-up visits throughout one’s life are important to check and program the device, as well as conduct auditory testing.
  • These ongoing visits and adjustments can help one derive the maximum benefit from his / her cochlear implants.

Cochlear Implant Basics

What are cochlear implants? How do they work?
Understand the basics of Cochlear implants.

Hearing Loss

How does hearing work? What is hearing loss and what are it’s types?

Diagnosis of hearing loss
Cochlear Implants for adults

Preparing for Surgery

Learn everything about preparing for the surgery.