Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
For a short period of time after the surgery, a special bandage is worn on the head during sleep. After about one month, the surgical wounds are healed and the patient returns to the implant clinic to be fitted with the external parts of the device...
and to have the device turned on and mapped. Mapping involves fine tuning the speech processor and setting levels of stimulation for each electrode, from soft to loud.
The patient is then trained in how to interpret the sounds heard through the device. The length of the training varies from days to years, depending on how well the person can interpret the sounds heard through the device.
This animation not only shows how the ear detects sound waves and converts those waves into nerve signals, but it also shows how cochlear implants work and allow patients with nerve deafness to hear.
A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. The cochlear implant is often referred to as a bionic ear. Unlike hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sound, but works by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with electric field stimulated through an electric impulse. External components of the cochlear implant include a microphone, speech processor and an RF transmitter. Similarly an RF receiver is implanted beneath the skull's skin. The transmitter has a piece of magnet by which it attaches to another magnet placed beside the receiver. When the receiver gets a signal, it will be transmitted to the implanted electrodes in the cochlea. The speech processor allows an individual to adjust the sound level of sensitivity.
Mastoidectomy is done to make the ear safe, since infection in the skull may be dangerous and can cause infection in and around the brain. With this procedure we hope to make the ear dry and possibly improve the hearing.
-P H Jones
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