Picking an implant: In America, there are 3 cochlear implant companies that offer devices for implantation. We will give you information from all three companies so that you can understand what each of them has to offer. If there are no medical reasons as to why one particular company’s implant would be recommended over the others, you make the decision on which implant you want your child to have and the audiologist will work on the order.
Read more about cochlear implants and how they work.
Insurance approval: We work with your insurance company to be sure the device and procedure are covered.
Surgery: The surgery is typically outpatient and routine and may take anywhere from one to three hours. The internal device is placed under the skin behind your child’s ear and the electrode is placed into their inner ear. Your child may be discharged from the recovery room, may stay on the floor for a few hours to recover, or may be discharged the following morning. Your child will have a post-operative appointment with the surgeon 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Read more about surgery at Children’s Mercy.
Activation of the implant: Two to four weeks after surgery, your child will be seen by the audiologist for the initial activation of the implant. At this appointment, your child’s implant will be programmed and turned on. They will leave this appointment hearing, so this is a big day! All children react differently…some smile, some cry, some don’t do anything at all. It’s hard to know what to expect. At this appointment you learn how to use your child’s implant, so come ready to learn.
Follow-up appointments: Your child’s hearing journey has begun and there will be many follow-up appointments to fine tune the speech processor. It is hard to tell exactly how many appointments will be needed but plan on many, especially during the first year. Your child will also have appointments with the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist to teach them how to use their hearing. Your child will also have follow-up appointments with the otologist who did your child’s surgery.