Anaesthesia and Cochlear Implants
by Anaesthesiologist Dr. Roman German

Receiving a cochlear implant is an important decision that is able to significantly improve quality of life. Hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world have received hearing implants, from children less than one year old to adults more than 90 years old.

Understandably, candidates may have concerns regarding the implantation procedure and the use of anaesthesia. To alleviate any anxiety about anaesthesia, please keep the following in mind:

The implantation is a routine surgical procedure that utilizes minimally invasive techniques. During cochlear implant surgery, the middle ear is accessed under a microscope to allow the surgeon to gently insert a flexible electrode into the cochlear. This surgery usually lasts approximately 1 to 2 hours. For this common surgery, a general anaesthesia is usually chosen.

Modern methods of anaesthesia, in combination with safe and rapidly effective medication have significantly improved the tolerance of general anaesthesia in the past years. Thanks to these improved methods, patients fall asleep faster and wake up much more easily after surgery.

With these methods, the potential risks of anaesthesia have been greatly reduced. This is of special importance for older adults or patients with certain health conditions. However, it is important to remember that additional health issues should be addressed before the surgery. 

Before, during, and after surgery, the patient is continuously attended to and monitored by the responsible anaesthesiologist to ensure the utmost safety and security.

Thanks to modern methods and the care of dedicated anaesthesiologists, the risks associated with general anaesthesia during cochlear implantation are minimal, even for older adults. Concerns about anaesthesia should not prevent candidates of any age from experiencing all of the benefits and improved quality of life of a cochlear implant. Dr. Roman German

Dr. Roman German, Anaesthesiologist
Agaplesion Bethanien Clinic
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

© 2017 MED-EL