Cochlear Implant

A view of the cochlea provided by Med EL, maker of cochlear implant devices

A small fraction of people with hearing loss may benefit from cochlear implants. Candidates may include those with moderate severe to profound degrees of hearing loss in both ears that show limited benefit gained from traditional hearing aids.

A cochlear implant is comprised of two parts: the sound processer and a surgically inserted device that provide auditory-like sensations to the hearing nerve. The device is secured to the skull to bypass the damaged area of the hearing system to directly stimulate the hearing (cochlear) nerve.

Surgery involves making a small incision behind the ear, through the temporal bone to implant the device. The device is tested during  surgery to ensure proper functioning and to gain an understanding of baseline hearing for future adjustments. Surgery is outpatient and lasts 1-2 hours. Numerous postoperative appointments will follow during the adjustment period.

The outcome for cochlear implant surgery is good. Our medical team has successfully performed hundreds of cochlear implant procedures. Our audiologists are trained to help patients throughout the adjustment period. While hearing improvements can vary with patients, many cochlear implant patients successfully participate in mainstream education environments, reconnect with family and friends and enjoy a high level of participation in the work force. To see if you are a candidate for cochlear implant surgery, visit Colorado’s leading ear specialists at Denver Ear Associates for a thorough evaluation and consultation.

Click to meet Gigi, one of our cochlear implant patients.

Associated risks with cochlear implant surgery are limited but may include: postoperative dizziness; mild pain or pressure; swelling in the scalp and cheek area; injury to the facial nerve; meningitis; infection; tinnitus; taste disturbances; reparative granuloma; fluid leakage; blood or other fluid collection. Our physicians will discuss the benefits and risks of cochlear implanted devices.