In order to determine candidacy for a cochlear implant
, you will undergo a number of routine assessments prior to implantation. These tests allow the cochlear implant team to check for any additional factors or needs. Assessment will also allow professionals to adequately brief you in order to know what to expect. These assessments often include medical, audiological (hearing) and radiological (X-ray) evaluations.
The surgical procedure usually takes between one and three hours and is done under general anaesthesia. The risks involved in cochlear implant surgery are low and are comparable to other ear surgeries. Patients are usually "up and about" the next day. Hospital stay can vary from one to several days depending on individual needs and what is typical in your area.
About four weeks after implantation, you will receive your audio processor. The audio processor is programmed, or “fitted”, for each person individually by an audiologist or other professional. This program contains settings for pitch, loudness and timing. Setting up an ideal program for the first time often requires repeated fitting sessions in order to gradually fine-tune the settings.
Regular communication training with a speech-language professional is an essential element in learning how to understand sounds and in developing listening and speech skills. Auditory therapy may focus on helping you to recognise the new, more detailed way that things sound as opposed to the limited sound you may have known with hearing aids.
If you would like to be referred directly to a cochlear implant centre or would like more information on MED−EL cochlear implant systems, please contact us directly.