Pediatric otolaryngology programs can give hope to your child by maximizing the impact of a cochlear implant in children on his or her life while providing the most advanced care available. Children all over the world rely on their pediatric cochlear implant, also known as “bionic ear,” to not only improve their ability to sense sound but also to have the opportunity to lead a full life. The surgery to implant the device, however, is just one step of the process. Post-operative care will continue for a year or more after surgery and will impact your child’s progress.
Cochlear implants may be a routine treatment, but any surgery –no matter how common –can still be stressful for the patient and his or her parents. Here are some post-surgery and follow-up care tips, as well as recommendations, to help ensure that your child’s road to recovery becomes a smoother journey.
Post-Surgery Care after Cochlear Implant
General guidelines on caring for your child at home:
- Your child can feel pressure over his or her implanted ear.
- Dizziness and nausea can be experienced and are completely normal. These issues will gradually improve a few weeks after the procedure. Encourage your child to avoid extreme or strenuous physical activity as it resolves.
- After removing the bandage, wash the incision with warm, soapy water (do this daily). Keep the area clean and dry. The bandage can be removed two to three days after surgery or when advised by the doctor. Diligently follow instructions on caring for the stitches, showering, diet and general care.
- Your child will most likely spend the first few days after surgery in bed. Once the doctor gives the green light for activity, he or she can do quiet indoor play for the first three to five days.
- Your child may return to school after a week, but cannot attend physical education classes or participate in sports for about three to four weeks (or until the doctor approves it).
Follow-Up Care after Cochlear Implant
The external device will be attached three weeks after surgery. The audiologist will attach the device to the outside of your child’s ear. This will give your child the opportunity to get used to wearing the device before it is switched on the following week. Your child’s audiologist will make the necessary adjustments on the sound processor, determine what sounds your child hears and provide all the information you need on the correct care and use of the device.
Follow-up care is essential to your child’s treatment and progress. Be sure to attend all appointments (Your child will have regular appointments after the first time the device is programmed). It is beneficial that a family member be included in the training program because learning how to operate the sound processor will ensure that your child can receive proper care regardless of location.
How to Determine if Your Child is a Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
To give your child the most comprehensive care possible or if you’d like to determine if your child is a candidate for a cochlear implant, seek advice from pediatric otolaryngology experts. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a vocabulary test resulted in a success rate of 26.87% for the cochlear implanted children and 20.32% for those with conventional hearing aids. This exhibits the considerable advantage of cochlear implants over hearing aids.
Schedule an Appointment Today
The concept of cochlear implants may sound daunting, but medical technology today combined with solid support throughout your child’s life could mean a lifetime of success. Reach out to the Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham and find out how you can change your child’s life for the better. Call (205) 831-0101 or fill out the online contact form.
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