Jefferson University Hospitals

Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that may dramatically improve one's hearing if profoundly deaf or hard of hearing. It consists of an internal device made up of electrodes that are threaded into the inner ear or cochlea that stimulate the auditory nerve and an external device that transmits the sound from the outside world to the electrode.

Am I A Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?

Board-certified neuro-otologists of the Jefferson Balance and Hearing Center will examine your condition and take a thorough medical history. Further testing will be ordered to determine if an implant is recommended. Additional tests include lab studies to rule out another medical problem, a CAT scan to evaluate the cochlea, an MRI to rule out a central disease and an auditory evaluation.

At Jefferson, candidates for a cochlear implant must be 18 years or older.

How are Cochlear Implants Performed?

Cochlear implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, though some patients may have to stay in the hospital overnight. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually lasts about 3 to 4 hours. You will be seen approximately 10 days after your surgery to have sutures removed and to test the implant with the external equipment. The activation of the external equipment is typically scheduled three to four weeks after surgery.