What Is Cochlear Implant Surgery?

Cochlear implant surgery involves implanting an internal receiver/stimulator into the inner ear to allow someone with hearing loss to have the perception of sound. The implant changes sounds into electrical pulses, which stimulate the auditory nerve directly. The auditory nerve sends these coded electrical pulses to the brain, which is where we really “hear.”

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 90 minutes. For most patients this is an outpatient procedure; there is no overnight stay. In general, cochlear implant surgery is considered to have minimal risks.

At least a week is allowed after surgery for healing so that wearing the external equipment is comfortable. Once the area has healed, an audiologist will attach the speech processor and transmitter/coil to activate the implant.