Cochlear implant surgery and follow - up takes place at our cochlear implant centres. Cochlear implantation is a specialist procedure needing a team of experts. There aren't many centres that offer a CI Team approach , and you may need to travel some distance to meet us.
Cochlear implant candidates undergo a number of routine assessments prior to surgery. The information gathered enables the cochlear implant team to identify any additional conditions or needs and helps candidates establish appropriate expectations.It can sometimes take many weeks for the team to carry out all their assessments.
When our team has gathered all the information we need, they may decide either
-that an implant is unlikely to help you or your child, or
-that an implant might help you or your child.
Deciding the choice of implant - The team has expertise in implanting and fitting all makes and models of implants. There are at least three or four companies that manufacture cochlear implants.We will discuss the various brands and models available at the time.
Hospital stay is likely to be a maximum of two days. We would normally admit on the day of the operation provided all the preoperative tests are satisfactory
Cochlear implant surgery lasts about two hours and is performed while the patient is under general anaesthesia. The electrode array is inserted into the cochlea. The receiver/stimulator is secured to the skull. Typically, patients remain in the hospital for one or two nights. They have a bandage on their head which is removed after four days. Patients return to school or work as soon as they feel well enough to do so, usually within a week of surgery.
After the surgery, one has to wait for the scar to heal. This period is approximately 2 to 3 weeks. After this healing period is over, the implant and processor are programmed or mapped for the first time. This is called the 'switch on'.
You / Your child won't hear sound until the external parts of the device, the headpiece and speech processor, have been fitted. The speech processor is fitted 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, and is set up individually for each user. This is called the switch on.
Our audiologist will set the speech processor so that it is comfortable for the child, with levels that are neither too loud nor too quiet. The levels must be measured very carefully for each child, because every child is different and has different needs. Sometimes, it takes several sessions to set the levels accurately.
The speech processor program, also known as a map, contains settings for pitch, loudness and timing. Programs are customized to meet each person's particular needs during "fitting sessions" with an audiologist.
When the initial mapping is complete, the speech processor can be switched on to real sound. Your child will hear lots of different sounds in the room, including your voice, his/her own voice, and a host of everyday sounds. Some children find all the new sounds exciting and rush off to explore them. Others can find the whole experience, and the sheer quantity of everyday sounds, rather overwhelming. A few children will take no notice of the new sounds.
Hearing lots of different sounds is not the same as being able to tell them apart. It may take your child a long time to work out that one set of sounds is your voice, and another is a bunch of keys rattling. It is important that you have realistic expectations. At this stage, just noticing that there are sounds is a vast step forwards, and one which your child will need time to get used to. It is too early for most children to start sorting the sounds out, let alone to make sense of them. In hearing terms, your child is like a new born body.
Just like a new baby, your child will need time to learn about sounds, before he or she can be expected to do anything with it. Try to avoid putting pressure on your child or "testing" your child, for example by standing behind him/her and making noises.
Don't expect too much. If your child is simply happy to wear the speech processor then you are making great progress.Keep usual routines going.
Encourage the child to wear the speech processor as part of everyday life, and to wear it as much as possible. Some children will need rewards or incentives at first. If your child is reluctant to wear the speech processor, ask members of the implant teams, or your child's school teacher, for advice.
Make sure the child is wearing the speech processor in a way that is comfortable and practical. If in doubt, ask the implant team, speech and language therapist or audiologist for advice.
Before you return home after the initial tuning sessions, one of the cochlear implant team members will explain the controls on the speech processor, and show you how to check that it is working properly. You will also receive a user's Guide and a Troubleshooting sheet.
Let your audiologist know if your child known if your child consistently wants the speech processor turned up or down or off. This often a sign that it needs to be readjusted.
The more information that you give your audiologist about your child is or is not responding to sound in everyday situation, the better the audiologist will be able to program his/her device.
If you are not sure how something works, or how to check that it is working, ask a member of the implant team, and keep asking until you are sure.
Check that the speech processor, batteries , cables and headpiece are all working correctly every day, just as you would a regard hearing aid. When you are used to doing it, a full check any takes a few sounds.
Keep an eye on your child's responses and check the equipment even more carefully if there are any sudden changes. If in doubt, ask the implant team for advice. The speech processor may need to be readjusted.
In order to attain the greatest benefit from a cochlear implant, candidates should be fully committed to the follow - up programme designed by their cochlear implant team. Follow - up programmes vary according to local practice.
Learning to listen, and to make use of new listening skills, takes the average child a long time. Children who are born with good hearing, and who have already had months of listening practice in the womb, spend a long time just listening and working out what sounds are, and then, perhaps, playing with their voices, before they attempt to say their first word, let alone to put words together. Your child will take just as long or longer.
Some children learn relatively quickly, other need more time. Making sure that the device is working properly, encouraging your child to wear it as much as possible, and giving lots of support and good listening/talking opportunities in quiet surroundings, will help your child to make the most of what she or he can hear.
Constant background noise, such as the television or radio makes it harder for children to learn to listen.
Plan activities, the reading books, cooking or playing games, which you can share with your child, which are enjoyable and which give lots of space for 'talk'. Play listening games. Your therapist will help you plan activities.
Age of implantation is only one factor influencing the benefit a child will receive from a cochlear implant. A rich communication environment, effective speech processor programming, motivation, rehabilitation and appropriate expectations are all important factors contributing to a child's overall success.
It is crucial to talk to your child, even though he or she may not fully understand what you are saying. Talking to your child is the best way to encourage the development of spoken language. Facial expression and body language emphasize the meaning of words and will help your child understand you better.
The speech processor of a cochlear implant system is programmed for each person individually. Setting up an ideal program, also known as a "map", requires regular fitting sessions to fine - tune settings. As the brain adjusts to auditory input, sounds that may have seemed loud at the first fitting can become too soft after a period of time. Regular fitting sessions are therefore an important factor for your child's success with the CI.
Success with a cochlear implant requires strong motivation and active participation from you as a parent. Even the best cochlear implant will not help your child if he or she does not wear it consistently. Periods of time without stimulation require your child's brain to readjust to incoming sounds from the cochlear implant, which can delay progress. Research has shown that wearing the speech processor for longer periods positively affects children's performance with their implant.
Structured auditory therapy is another key factor for successful cochlear implant use. For very young children, auditory therapy may initially involve structured listening activities to help your child detect and recognize sounds in the therapeutic setting. At a later stage, your child learns to apply these new listening skills in the real world, outside the therapeutic setting. Various pediatric rehabilitation materials are available for use at home, so you can help your child develop hearing skills in a playful way.
My experience with cochlear implant My name is Gerald Andrew; I am 29 year old male Tanzanian. Last year (2009) was one of the most memorable for me. It’s when I received my cochlear implant at Apollo hospital in New Delhi after Read More »
I wanted to thank you immensely for the help that you provided to my father and thus to our family by giving him the gift of hearing. He is now recovering well and is able to hear all the conversations as normally as anyone else can.
My father, underwent a Stapedotomy ear surgery to correc ct his hearing problem, first in one ear and then 6 months later in the other. The result of the surgery was better than expected and post full recovery my father is able to hear very well. Read More »
My experience with cochlear implant My name is Gerald Andrew; I am 29 year old male Tanzanian. Last year (2009) was one of the most memorable for me. It’s when I received my cochlear implant at Apollo hospital in New Delhi after more than three years of hearing loss. Everyone’s experience with coch hlear implant is a bit different therefore, am happy to share mine with anybody out there, from the moment I lost my hearing, my experience during my stay at Apollo Hospital and one year later on, after cochlear implant. Read More »