Cochlear Implant

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What Are Cochlear Implants?

A cochlear implant is a device surgically-implanted both inside the ear of the patient and outside the ear, with a part of the device magnetically attaching outside of the patient's skull. Like a sophisticated hearing aid, the device is able to partially restore functional speech comprehension in patients with profound or total hearing loss, as well as other aspects of hearing. While the full range of sound is not restored, and significant rehabilitation and training must take place after the device is activated in order for the patient to use it effectively, many patients report an overall increase in their quality of life using the device. The procedure itself may differ with different implant models, but in most cases it involves placing a device within the cochlea, which transmits information to the cochlear nerve, and other pieces of hardware outside of the body. Implanting a cochlear implant device involves significant surgery, but most patients leave the hospital the same day or within 3 days of surgery. The device is activated after 1-4 weeks of healing.

Since there are several types of cochlear implants and models available, and each has their particular strengths and weaknesses, patients should consult with an audiologist to determine which will be best for them. There are many factors to consider in selecting a model, including the number of channels that the sound processor is capable of handling and the signal processing algorithm. The device does not cure deafness, but as a prosthetic it acts as a sort of advanced hearing aid. How effective the device can be seems to depend heavily on the patient and at what developmental stage they became deaf. Patients that became deaf later in life after acquiring verbal (spoken) language seem to find the devices more helpful than patients who were born deaf. Patients should consult with their doctors to determine if they are candidates for cochlear implant surgery and weigh the benefits and risks of the procedure.

 

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A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into the ear, in order to produce a sense of sound for patients who are deaf or have severe hearing problems. The implant is made up of 2 parts, one which is internal and the other is external. The external part sits behind the ear and the internal part is surgically implanted into the ear. These 2 components consist of a microphone for detecting sounds, a speech processor, a transmitter and receiver, and an electrode array. Together, the components function to detect outside sounds, to process these sounds and interpret speech, to transmit and covert the sounds, and to collect the impulses and direct them to the auditory nerve. It provides patients with a sense of sound by stimulating nerves in the inner ear. The implant differers from a hearing aid, in that a hearing aid amplifies sounds, whereas the implant helps to detect and interpret sound. Whilst the cochlear implant is different from normal hearing, it can enable people to understand conversations better and to recognize warning signals. For some patients, the implant can improve the interpretation of sound and speech so that they may not require lip reading or sign language anymore. Many patients may be able to make telephone calls or listen to music. However, the results and benefits vary with each patient. After the implant has been fully fitted, patients will need to attend auditorial and communication training in order to learn how to maximize the benefits. Recommended for Patients who are deaf Patients who are severely hard of hearing Time requirements Number of days in hospital 1 - 2 days . Some patients spend one night in hospital. Average length of stay abroad 3 - 6 weeks. Patients should get the surgeon's approval before flying, and inform their airline that they have a cochlear implant, as it will set off security alarms. If the implant is switched on, the volume may need adjusting during the flight. Number of trips abroad needed 1. The implant has an external and an internal component. Time requirements Number of days in hospital 1 - 2 days . Some patients spend one night in hospital. Average length of stay abroad 3 - 6 weeks. Patients should get the surgeon's approval before flying, and inform their airline that they have a cochlear implant, as it will set off security alarms. If the implant is switched on, the volume may need adjusting during the flight. Number of trips abroad needed 1. Time requirements Number of days in hospital 1 - 2 days . Some patients spend one night in hospital. Average length of stay abroad 3 - 6 weeks. Patients should get the surgeon's approval before flying, and inform their airline that they have a cochlear implant, as it will set off security alarms. If the implant is switched on, the volume may need adjusting during the flight. Number of trips abroad needed 1. The implant has an external and an internal component.,

The doctor will perform a physical examination of the ear and hearing ahead of the surgery. In this examination, the physical state of the ear and the patient's response to certain types of sounds will be assessed.

Hearing aids may be tested to establish if it has any benefits for the patient. A CT (computerized tomography) of the ear may be taken, as well as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), as part of the assessment.,

The patient is administered with a general anesthetic and part of the hair on the scalp is shaved and cleaned at the incision site. The doctor will make an incision behind the ear and then place the receiver beneath the skin. On to the cochlear itself, the electrodes are attached. Around 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery, the external component is then fitted and placed behind the ear.

Usually the cochlear implant is switched on 3-6 weeks after implantation, and the volume is adjusted. Anesthesia General anesthetic. Procedure duration The Cochlear Implant takes 1 to 2 hours. The natural cochlear is snail shaped. It is the sensory organ needed for hearing.,

Post procedure care The area will be bandaged for some time after the procedure, and the doctor will provide instructions on how to take care of the stitches. The implant will be first turned on between 3-6 weeks after the operation.

Possible discomfort Patients can anticipate some discomfort immediately after surgery. Including: pressure or discomfort over the implanted ear, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, and a sore throat.,

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