Risk of the surgery and recovery

The 'implanted component' of the cochlear implant is surgically implanted into the bionic ear. The surgery takes two to three hours. Published report proves that cochlear implant surgery is safe in general.

Complications caused by cochlear implant surgery are more or less the same as the other surgeries, for example, anesthetic risk, inflammation, infection and bleeding, etc. Other complications brought about by otological surgeries are aural paralysis, facial paralysis, dysgeusia, headache, aural vertigo, tinnitus, etc.

Although a cochlear implant surgery has risk, individual interested in the Programme needs not worry too much as most of the complications mentioned above will disappear when the wound heals.

Most implantees at the Prince of Wales Hospital can be discharged 24 hours after the surgery. The wound usually takes one to three weeks to heal. Implantees can resume their daily activities within the recovery period. Even children can move freely one day after the surgery.

Post-surgery rehabilitative training

Post-surgery rehabilitative training is as important as implant surgery in the Programme. Since cochlear implant surgery does not cure deafness, patients have to get used to the sound stimulus produced by the new device so as to develop their hearing and speech ability.

The professionals of the cochlear implant team will draw up a rehabilitative plan to meet individual needs. Patients should actively and persistently participate in the training for the best outcome of cochlear implantation.

The implant does not restore normal hearing but does improve the person's ability to hear environmental sounds, to hear rhythms and patterns of speech, and to use speech reading (lip reading) better.

Benefits to implantees

ADULTS
Many research reports provide proof of the effectiveness of cochlear implants. Clinical trials reveal that the communica-tion ability of most of the adults enrolled in the Programme have been enhanced through listening and lip-reading. Reports also show that cochlear implantation increases the confidence of these adults and helps them lead a more active and enjoyable social life. Other adults will have better job opportunities and improved relationships with their family and friends.

 
CHILDREN
Children can hear more sounds with cochlear implants after post-operative training. They can then learn speech and language, and eventually communicate with people through speech, just like a normal child. Children can be trained to hear more sounds after receiving cochlear implants. Some of them can even enter main stream education. All of the changes have a positive influence on the kids' development, their daily activities and family life.
Benefits to the society

If an adult receives a cochlear implant successfully, this will not only increase his work efficiency, but also improve his ability to communicate and receive information. As they can better fit into the society, expenses for special equipment and facilities will be reduced. Moreover, if a child in the Programme can enter mainstream education, the society can also save resources on special education.

Cost

Cost incurred by each patient in the Cochlear Implant Programme is approximately US$30,000 (including surgery, device, check-up and follow-up plan)