Cochlear Implants Treatment
Cochlear implant placement requires surgery. This may be performed as an outpatient or as an inpatient. General anesthesia is used.
Some hair in the surgical area behind the ear may need to be shaved. A small incision is made behind the ear to allow the surgeon to access the mastoid bone behind the ear canal. A small tunnel to the inner ear is created. Electrodes are inserted through the tunnel into the inner ear (cochlea). The receiver is placed in the bone behind the ear.
About four to six weeks following the surgery, the external device is fitted and placed. The transmitter is held against the skin behind the ear by a strong magnet. The microphone is usually worn near the ear.
There are a couple of speech processor options from which to choose. One type of speech processor looks similar to a hearing aid and may be worn behind the ear (BTE). Another type of speech processor may be placed in a pocket or worn on a belt or harness.
Once placed, an audiologist activates the electrodes by using a computer and makes adjustments based on the user’s response. Several appointments may be necessary at first to program or map the speech processor. Adjustments may be necessary every few months during the first year, and less frequently after that. Long-term intensive speech and language rehabilitation follows cochlear implant placement.
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