What you’ll find on this page
- Learn how surgeons perform cochlear implant surgery.
- Hear from a cochlear implant surgeon.
- Listen to people who have undergone cochlear implant surgery.
What happens during cochlear implant surgery?
After a general anaesthetic, your surgeon makes a small incision on the side of your head. Sometimes they shave a small amount of hair.
Your surgeon then places the implant under your skin and inserts an electrode in your inner ear. Tests check whether the implant is working and measure your response to the device.
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?
Getting a cochlear implant takes about one to two hours per ear. It may be done as an outpatient procedure.
How long does it take to recover from a cochlear implant operation?
After surgery, you or your child go to a recovery area until your 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 so after your operation. This is when you're also told how to look after your implant area. 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 waiting period is to let the implant area heal.