NORMAL POST OP COURSE: In general, Cochlear implantation is a very safe surgery with limited post-operative pain and few complications. Pain at the surgical site is usually temporary. Stiffness of the jaw is also common.
- It is safe to sleep on the side of your operative ear.
- There is a slight chance that you may experience taste disturbance (commonly described as a metallic taste) following surgery. This should go away within a few days-a few weeks. In rare instances, may take a few months.
- You may have temporary imbalance and dizziness that may persist for a week or more due to swelling in the ear, swelling at the implant site, and irritation of the inner ear structures.
- Temporary numbness in and around the ear is normal following surgery. This may last 6 months or more.
- Tinnitus (ringing in ear) is considered unpredictable following implant surgery. It may worsen in the implanted ear, or it may decrease in loudness for those who have tinnitus prior to implant surgery.
- Narcotic pain medication may have been prescribed for you to take as needed. If you decide not to take Narcotic pain medication, you may take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for any discomfort and pain control.
- If antibiotics have been prescribed to you, take the full prescription until it is finished.
- If you experience increased redness, drainage or odor from the incision site or if you develop a fever of 101.5, notify our office.
- Rarely, the implanted device may malfunction and require replacement.
- Due to the close location of the facial nerve to the cochlea, there is a remote possibility that temporary or permanent facial weakness/paralysis may occur after surgery. This risk is minimized by the use of a monitor of the nerve throughout the operation.
- Bruising may occur the first few days after surgery in front of the ear, around the eye, and down the neck. This is caused by the needle probe which monitors facial nerve function during surgery.
- There is a very slight increase in the risk of meningitis (infection around the brain) in patients with cochlear implants. This risk may persist for your lifetime. We require pneumococcal vaccination before surgery to decrease this risk.
- If you have a head dressing, it may be removed 24 hours after surgery.
- You will likely have Derma bond (surgical glue) to close the incision behind your ear. No special care is necessary. Wash gently behind the ear. It will begin to peel off in 7-10 days.
- You may shower and wash your hair the day after surgery.
- It you wear eye glasses and your incision is behind your ear, the earpiece on the side of your surgery may place pressure on the incision. If this occurs, have the earpiece removed for the initial postoperative period.
- No strenuous, physical activity and no lifting 20 pound or greater for 2-3 weeks.
- Do not blow your nose or pop your ears by holding your nose and blowing for 3 weeks after surgery.
- If you sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
- If you develop a cold, you may start an over the counter decongestant. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, check with your primary care doctor prior to starting decongestant. Call the office if ear pain, drainage or reduced hearing occurs.
- Air travel is allowed 1 day following surgery. If you have trouble clearing your ears, you may take an over the counter decongestant 2 hours prior to take off, and for trips over 6 hours, again before landing. We recommend chewing gum and drinking fluids liberally while in flight.
DIET: You may resume your normal diet. You may find liquids, crackers and toast more tolerable at first. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods for the first 12 hours.
- You will receive an ID card for your implant after surgery. Please make copies of the card and keep a copy of your implant card with you at all times.
- We recommend you get a medical bracelet identifying you as a cochlear implant user.
- You will be given your external device in a brown or black box. Please bring this with you to your activation appointment after surgery.
- You may resume sexual activity once you feel able, but consider being the less active partner at first.
You should have a post op appointment for 1 week after surgery.
For questions, problems or refills, call the office at (425) 775-6651.
Pain medications require a written prescription, so call for a refill before you run out of medication.
Medication or refill requests must be made during office hours.
There is always a doctor on call for emergent problems after office hours: (425) 775-6651