Once the Cochlear Implant Team has received a referral for your child, the team coordinator will contact you and send you an information package. If you are interested, a family meeting with the team coordinator will be arranged.
At the meeting with the team coordinator you will be provided with information about cochlear implants. The coordinator will also explain the assessment process and answer any questions you may have.
Following this, if you wish to proceed, several appointments will be booked with different members of the interdisciplinary team to help determine if a cochlear implant is an option for your child.
The Candidacy Assessment includes:
- Audiology review to measure the child’s hearing levels, and evaluate hearing aid benefit
- A review of the early intervention services that the child has received, and how the child has progressed
- Medical review to ensure that the child does not have any medical conditions that might prevent the use of an implant.
- Vaccination evaluation
- Social work appointment
- A CT and MRI scan of the inner ear (similar to x-rays) to ensure the inner ear is suitable for insertion of the electrode array
Families can expect a minimum of 6 appointments for the evaluation process.
For out of town families we try to coordinate appointments so that there is less travel.
Once these assessments are complete, the Cochlear Implant team will discuss the results, and determine whether a cochlear implant is recommended. If your child is a candidate for implantation, your family can then decide whether to go ahead.
The surgery is done in the operating room at BC Children’s Hospital under general anesthetic. Dr. Kozak is the pediatric cochlear implant surgeon of B.C.
The surgery usually takes about 4 hours and the children usually stay one night after the surgery for monitoring.
One week after surgery there is a follow-up appointment with Dr. Kozak.
It generally takes 3 to 5 weeks for the surgical incision to heal, but most children resume normal daily activities within days after the surgery. However, no active sports or climbing is recommended for 6 weeks after surgery.