Ever wondered what on earth actually happens in cochlear implant surgery? I have. Short of asking the surgeon if I can ‘have a quick look once he’s got me open’, I’ve discovered some interesting info around the web. See below:
Prior to Surgery
The implant candidate is anesthetized with a general anesthesia.
Preparing for Operation
Some hair is shaved off where the surgery will be done. This is usually a small amount of hair, behind the ear. I’ve been told by people to remind the surgeon just before I go in not to shave too much off! Might tell the doc to shave it in the shape of a flower or something interesting, just to lighten up his day.
Making the Cut
*ok deep breath* … An incision is made and the skin and tissue flap is lifted so that the surgeon can drill into the skull bone behind the ear. (*Bllllllleeeerghghgherrrrrrrr! YUUUKKKK*)
*sigh* ….A receiver is placed into the drilled-out area and an electrode array is inserted into the cochlea. (This is the bit that freaks me out. Hope my surgeon has a steady hand. )
Hey, if you feel like watching the “Animated Video of a Cochlear Implant” on the left, then, by all means, go for it!
The surgical area is closed up with stitches (a small permanent scar may result) and the head is bandaged. Big, tight bandage apparently. Gah!
Usually stay overnight at the hospital, and then go home the next day. I’m going to try and convince the hospital to let Ben stay overnight with me! How awesome, sleeping overnight in the hospital still has that kind of feel of staying overnight in a museum or a shopping centre. Just wrong, but oh so exciting.
During the recuperation from the surgery, there may be minimal side effects such as temporary swelling, pain, changes in taste, dizziness, inflammation, bleeding, etc. You’re advised not to drive for about 3 days afterwards, I think. Or was it 3 weeks? Geez … better go read my notes at home, I seriously can’t remember.