Family Magazine

My Daughter’s Second Cochlear Implant Surgery

By Upliftingfam @upliftingfam

Ready for Her Cochlear Implant SurgeryToday is the day that my daughter gets her second cochlear implant.  I have to admit even though I have already been through this same surgery 12 years ago with my daughter, I was still nervous going into the hospital and waiting for her to have her surgery done.  My daughter was born with a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.  In 2001, she received her first cochlear implant only on her right side and at that time doctors typically implanted only one side.  Cochlear implants were still fairly new.  At at the time, the evidence proved that only one cochlear implant was sufficient for recipients to be able to here.  The doctors suggested that we wait to see if the technology would improve before deciding to implant her other ear.  After careful consideration, we decided that it was now time for her to get a second cochlear implant.

Over the last 12 years, the technology has changed and the electrode has gotten smaller.  The smaller electrode goes into the cochlea, which is the snail shaped part inside of your middle ear.  The smaller electrode doesn’t damage nearly as many of the hair cells that are inside of the cochlea.  The hair cells inside of your ear are responsible for changing sounds that you hear and turns them into electrical signals that your brain can understand.  Once a hair cells inside of your cochlea are damaged the damage is permanent.  The hair cells don’t regrow or regenerate so once the damage is done it is done.  Damaged hair cells lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.

The electrodes convert what she is hearing with her device and the device translates it.  Once the device translates it, it then sends the electrical signal down the electrode to the auditory nerve.  Then the auditory nerve sends the signal to the brain.  This allows my daughter to have the ability to hear, it is amazing that technology can help those who lost their hearing or are born deaf.  My daughter doesn’t hear sounds the way we do; in fact, when the audiologist explained it to me 12 years ago she said that it often sounds similar to Mickey Mouse’s voice.  However, my daughter doesn’t know the difference since she was born without any residual hearing.  People who have lost their hearing later in life explained the difference in way that they hear sounds with the cochlear implant to the audiologist.

We opted for today’s surgery because my daughter was having a difficult time hearing when there is a bunch of background noise while trying to have a conversation with her.  She also seems to struggle when she was riding in the car.  She will begin driving soon and we wanted to make sure that she was able to hear the traffic around her.  Plus, we wanted to give her the best opportunity to when she starts her career path after she graduates from high school.

I am excited that she had the opportunity to be able to have surgery to correct the hearing loss has in her left ear.  The doctor said that she did great today and that her surgery went well.  It was very hard seeing her after her surgery because she was in pain.  We got home a few hours ago and she is resting.  Once we got home, she seemed in good spirits and she is snuggling with her puppy.

I can’t wait to see her reaction to being able to hear in her left ear in a few weeks.

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Has your child ever had surgery?  How did you handle seeing your child in pain?

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