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The Truth and Lies about Cochlear Implant Surgery

October 11th, 2010 by | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

The other day at school I met a girl who has hearing aids. She could hear perfectly fine but was using sign language. I asked her why she was signing when she can speak perfectly fine. She said she has been losing her hearing very slowly and someday will be deaf. I asked her why doesn’t she get a cochlear implant, and she replied to me about her fear of her hair being shaved off and the dangers of the implant surgery. So I decided to write a post about the truth and lies of implant surgery.

  • Yes you do get some of your hair shaved off, but the doctor shaves it in a special way. When people look at you, especially if you’re a girl with long hair, they can’t even tell whether or not your hair is shaved off. You can even still pull your hair back in a pony tail.
  • All surgeries have their risks, but most of the time the surgeries are successful.
  • Of course the implant is not going to sound the way you want it to sound. It will take many years of practice. If I remember correctly, my right implant took a long time to sound the way I wanted it to sound. After I got my 2nd implant in 2004, it sounded like ssssss…. Now here I am six years later and loving it.
  • The younger you get implanted the better. I was implanted at fifteen months, and I speak almost perfectly fine.

6 Comments

Clair

November 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Hi Jessica, i liked reading your post, i have been doing alot of research on Cochlear implants. My niece was born deaf and is on the waiting list to get a implant fitted. She is 1 year old next week and likely to get her implant fitted at the start of 2012.

Bill

November 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

From my understanding cochlear implants works best in people who had hearing and lost it, NOT in those born Deaf. What is wrong with learning American Sign Language, it is beautiful.

Bill

November 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm

With cochlears many years are spent on speech therapy, when the child should be learning academics, math, science, etc. American Sign Language should be an option, not just CI surgery.

Tanya

April 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

Hello there, could you then explain the recalls lately including the one last summer and now? See http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2094397

Rachel

April 19, 2013 at 4:46 am

The recall that was mentioned in USA Today was from 2006, which has already been resolved. Today, the company, Advanced Bionics, currently has 99% reliability rating. Cochlear’s recalled cochlear implant, CI500 (Nucleus 5), is still off the market. Their current cochlear implants, CI24RE and CI422, have 99% reliability rating too.

Ariel

February 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

In reply to Bill’s comment above-
It’s not true that the cochlear implant (CI) works better on people who were born hearing and then became deaf versus people who were born deaf. I was born deaf and I received my CI at four years old. Yes, I had to go to speech therapy and a lot of time was spent doing that. However, I still went to school and caught up to my peers rather quickly. My academics was not delayed at all. In fact, I was able to graduate as valedictorian in highschool and I went off to college at 18 like everyone else. Now I am graduating college at age 22 like everyone else. Even though I am obviously an advocate for CI I would never say that ASL is bad. I believe that being bilingual would be very beneficial.