Cochlear implant surgery
Getting a cochlear implant for you or your child is a big decision, so it’s important to know what to expect before, during and after surgery.
What you'll find on this page
- Summary of how surgeons perform cochlear implant surgery.
- Information about recovering from a cochlear implant operation.
What happens during cochlear implant surgery?
Typically, a general anaesthetic is used. A small amount of hair may be shaved behind the ear before a small incision is made.
Your surgeon removes a small amount of bone behind your ear and places the implant under the skin. The electrode is gently placed into the inner ear.
When your surgeon confirms everything is fine, they close the incision. They often use dissolvable stitches, so you may have no stitches to remove later.
How long does a cochlear implant operation take?
The surgery typically takes one to two hours. Patients may be able to go home the same day.
How long does it take to recover from a cochlear implant operation?
After surgery, you or your child go to a recovery area until the anaesthesia wears off. This may take a few hours.
As this happens, you may feel a little pressure or discomfort around your implant area. Once your medical team is happy with your recuperation, you can go home.
Usually, your dressing can be removed a day or two after your operation. You will be given instructions if any additional wound care is necessary.
You should be back to your normal activities a few days after your surgery, but you need to take extra care of the implant area.
Your hearing health professional will let you know when they can switch on your implant and pair it with a sound processor.
This content is intended for professionals. If you are a consumer, please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always follow the directions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.
* Materials featuring health care professionals are not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular provider or service.