Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear)
Cochlear implant is an electronic hearing instrument implanted to patients with a very advanced degree of hearing loss. Cochlear implant is frequently called as “bionic ear” as well.
Cochlear implant helps recovery of hearing sensation in patients with a very advanced degree of hearing loss associated with damaging of hairy cells in cochlea in inner ear. Cochlear implant may provide hearing closest to natural hearing.
Cochlear implant is used by 219,000 patients on the world as of December 2010.
How does cochlear implant work?
Microphone on external (outside) part of cochlear implant transmits the received sound to internal (inside) part thereof. Sound processor on internal part converts the received sounds into electric stimulants, and these electric stimulants are directly transmitted to nerve cells in inner ear. Electric stimulants transmitted from nerve cells go to hearing center, thereby ensuring normal hearing.
How is cochlear implant installed?
Cochlear implant device consists of 2 parts. Internal part is installed by a surgical operation. Its receiver is implanted on bone, and electrode is inserted into cochlea. This operation is performed under general anesthesia and lasts for approximately 1 hour. Estimated time of hospitalization is 2 nights. Dressing is applied every other day for one week. As meltable sutures are used, it is not required to remove the sutures. Operation site fully recovers within one week. Approximately three weeks after operation, the external part is fixed. External part is placed behind the ear, just like normal hearing instrument, without any operation.
Results of cochlear implant
After cochlear implant is installed, patients continue to take a special training. The earlier age the cochlear implant is installed, the more satisfactory its results are. If cochlear implant is installed at ages (1-3) when the child learns speaking, the results are fairly successful. Such children hear and speak almost like normal children.
Cochlear implant is installed successfully by our team in our Clinic.