Cochlear Implant Surgery

What is cochlear implant surgery?

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device implanted under the skin behind your ear. The device electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (hearing nerve) to help restore hearing.

There are 2 parts to a cochlear implant:

  • An external part or processor that sits behind the ear and captures sound signals.
  • An internal part that is implanted under the skin behind the ear. It receives the sound signals sent and sends the signals as tiny electrical currents to the nerve endings in the cochlea (inner ear).

Compared to conventional hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be beneficial if you have:

  • Severe to profound hearing loss in one or both ears
  • Severe to profound hearing loss involving only the high frequencies of one or both ears
  • Severe hearing loss that is associated with very disturbing and disabling tinnitus

Why do you need cochlear implant surgery?

Cochlear implant surgery bypasses the damaged structures of the inner ear to directly stimulate the auditory nerve. If you have severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implant surgery may be a suitable treatment for you compared to a hearing aid.

A cochlear implant surgery offer many benefits. It can improve your quality of life by giving or returning your abilities to:

  • Hear music and phone conversations
  • Hear speech without relying on other visual cues such as facial expressions or lip reading
  • Listen clearly in loud or noisy environments
  • Locate where sounds are coming from
  • Recognise sounds from your everyday environment

Cochlear implant for children or baby

A cochlear implant may be a good option for your child or baby due to the following benefits:

  • Better opportunities in life and career with improved or restored hearing ability
  • Improved safety with the ability to hear alerts and warning sounds
  • Language development with regards to speech and hearing

Children generally experience the best results from a cochlear implant when it is done at a young age.

Extra care must be taken to maintain and protect the device during play.

What are the risks and complications of cochlear implant surgery?

Cochlear implant surgery is generally considered safe. Risks can include:

  • Failure of internal device, requiring further surgery to repair or replace it
  • Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) after surgery, which may be preventable through vaccination
  • Loss of any remaining, unclear, natural residual hearing in the implanted ear for some people

While complications are not usually experienced, they include:

  • Balancing problems
  • Bleeding
  • Device infection
  • Dizziness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Infection at the surgery site
  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Tinnitus
  • Unusual sense of taste

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals

Located in the heart of Singapore at prime locations in Orchard and Novena, Mount Elizabeth is a trusted name in medical care.

If a cochlear implant surgery is what you need, you can be assured of experienced care from our team of ENT specialists. Our holistic medical approach includes a strong focus on patient experience with your privacy, comfort and clinical outcomes as our top priorities.

Our ENT specialists (otolaryngologists)

Browse the profiles of our ENT specialists at Mount Elizabeth. Our multidisciplinary team – including skilled hearing therapists, communication and language development therapists, speech and language therapists as well as nurses who are professionally qualified in this field – is focused on your healing journey.

Please check with your insurance provider for more information, and for their most up-to-date list of panel doctors.

^Specialists may qualify to be on the Extended Panel (EP). You may enjoy selected panel benefits depending on your policy and riders.
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Need help?

For enquiries, please call
+65 6250 0000 (Orchard) or +65 6898 6898 (Novena)

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+65 8111 7777 (Orchard) or +65 8111 5777 (Novena)