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implant recipients are unable to undergo certain medical
procedures, should the need for these occur at some later
date. These include:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
testing. Unless the recipient has an implant with a removable
magnet, this testing cannot be performed.
- Electrosurgery or diathermy in the
vicinity of the implanted portion of the cochlear implant.
- Electroconvulsive therapy.
- Ionizing radiation therapy
Static electricity can potentially
damage the electrical components of the implant system or
erase programs saved to the speech processor. A simple
step in preventing static electricity from affecting the
speech processor is to remove the speech processor while
the child is playing on plastic slides or in plastic ball
pits (such as those found at some fast food restaurants).
Avoid contact with the speech processor until you have touched
your child. By touching your child before you reach for
the speech processor you will ground yourself and avoid
passing static electricity to the processor. Your audiologist
may offer other suggestions to protect your child's speech
processor from static electricity.
Surgical risks include a slight chance
of damage to the facial nerve or the chorda tympani-two
nerves that pass through the middle ear space. The risk
from anesthesia needed for the implant surgery is slightly
higher in infants and young children, as compared to adults.
Also, some patients experience reduced balance function
for a short period immediately following surgery. Finally,
a small percentage of implant patients have reported an
increase of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) after the surgery
as compared with their previous experience.
is a chance of a problem occurring with the internal portion
of the cochlear implant system after it is implanted. However,
based on reports from the current cochlear implant manufacturers,
the Cumulative Survival Rate (CSR) is approximately 99%
after one year and more than 96% after three years. If a
problem with the internal component should occur, the faulty
device typically is removed and replaced with the most current
cochlear implant technology available. If internal device
failure occurs during the first 10 years after implantation,
the manufacturer's warranty will cover any costs for re-implantation
not covered by the insurance companies. If the cochlear
implant needs replacement beyond the 10-year warranty period,
the responsibility for replacement would be dependent upon
the person and their insurance company.
The implanted portion of the cochlear
implant system is unaffected by running, swimming, or any
normal activity. Some simple precautions are recommended
to protect the device from trauma and damage. These include
wearing a helmet when bicycling, skateboarding or roller-skating
to help prevent damage to the internal device in the event
of a fall. The processor must be removed when swimming or
engaging in other activities where the external parts could
get wet. Children with cochlear implants can participate
in all common childhood activities.