Cochlear implant surgery is performed by a pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) at one of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta surgery centers. The surgery takes about two to five hours. You may request that a nurse give you periodic updates during surgery so that you will know how the surgery is proceeding. After surgery, your child’s doctor will speak with you to inform you of all aspects of the surgery and whether all of the electrodes were inserted. You and your child will spend the night in the hospital.
Cochlear implants are recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) as an approved medical procedure for children. They are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In general, the surgical procedure is not considered dangerous or particularly painful. As with any surgical procedure, patients should be aware that there are risks associated with anesthesia. A very small percentage of patients may experience some postoperative effects such as inflammation or bleeding at the surgical site, numbness or stiffness around the ear, injury or stimulation of the facial nerve, taste disturbance, dizziness, ringing in ears (tinnitus), neck pain, or fluid leak from the cochlea which could result in meningitis.
Learn how to prepare your child for surgery.