Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants require a surgical procedure. While any type of surgery has some associated risks, it is important to know that complications are extremely rare. Keep in mind that surgery is a necessary but brief part of the process and that hundreds of thousands of people have undergone the procedure all around the world. Most go home the same day or the very next day.
It is also important to know that having surgery doesn’t automatically mean that you will lose whatever hearing ability you still have. In fact, Phonak and Advanced Bionics offer solutions that take advantage of residual hearing so that some recipients can hear acoustically as well as through the implant.
After getting my implant, I saw Dennis DeYoung, from the band Styx, in concert. I cried a river of joyful tears throughout the whole show. I didn’t think I would ever ‘hear’ music like that again.
After the implantation, you may experience the roller coaster of “hurry up and wait,”as activation of the cochlear implant typically takes place two to four weeks after the procedure—depending on the healing process.
Initial stimulation (being “switched on”) will take place in your audiologist’s office, and is an extremely exciting and emotional milestone. During this appointment, the audiologist will also create a customised set of listening programs for your external sound processor, and show you how to use and take care of your CI. This initial activation process will vary depending on your particular cochlear implant centre.
Follow-up programming and training sessions to improve your hearing performance are typically scheduled in the weeks and months following the initial session. Longterm, adults typically have annual check-ups; younger children generally require more frequent ones.
While the implant is designed for life, Advanced Bionics and Phonak are continually developing new external components that can improve your hearing. Your annual check-ups will dictate which product upgrades, features, etc. will benefit you the most as time goes on.
And of course, Advanced Bionics will continue to support your journey to better hearing with educational resources, technical support, and outstanding customer service to ensure that you stay powerfully connected to a full world of sound.