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Tips for CI Surgery Day

November 8th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

You’ve had the pre-operative tests, filed (and/or battled) with your insurance provider, and selected the device.  The big day is finally here… it’s time for CI surgery day.  Here are some tips to make the big day go as smoothly as possible:

  • Bring an extra set of clothing for both child and parent(s)
    • Choose clothes for the child that button down the front so you do not have to pull the neck of a shirt over bandages
    • For adult CI recipients, choose comfortable clothes that button down the front as well as slip on shoes so you don’t have to bend over to tie laces
  • Bring your camera and/or video camera
  • Bring a pen and paper to write down questions, important instructions, etc.
  • Bring snacks, books, or other entertainment while waiting for the surgery
  • Remember to bring chargers for any electronics that might lose battery while waiting
  • Bring your child’s favorite toy(s) or other comfort objects
  • Designate one friend or relative to be the PR person – you can contact this person with updates and he/she is responsible for disseminating the information to everyone who needs to know.  This will save you from making dozens of phone calls.
  • Have popsicles, apple sauce, crackers, or other favorite foods ready at home for after surgery
  • Pre-cook and freeze a few meals for the family so that you don’t have to spend time cooking while tending to a recovering child or while recovering yourself
  • Go to the library to check out new books and movies for yourself or your child while s/he recovers at home
  • Arrange for time off from work or coverage for your job.  Remember that when you go back to work your implanted ear(s) will be “off the ear” (e.g. without hearing) until your activation, so you may want to request that people email rather than phone (if you used the phone with your hearing aids), give you notes for important meetings, etc.

Ellie recovers from CI surgery with the help of her teddy bear. (From the book “Ellie’s Ears” written by Elizabeth Boschini and illustrated by Rachel Chaikof. Click above for more information)

Now you’re ready to begin the countdown to activation day!

Written by

Elizabeth Rosenzweig MS CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. She provides auditory verbal therapy, aural rehabilitation, IEP advocacy, consultation, and LSLS mentoring for clients around the world via teletherapy. You can learn more about Elizabeth's services on her Website or Facebook.


November 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I had my surgery as an adult, but one thing I found useful was buying a soft baby’s brush for my hair to avoid catching any stitches by accident or digging stiff bristles into any tender spots (normally I use a very stiff brush as my hair is very thick). This might be worth thinking about for children, too, as the tender skin on top of the head can be very sensitive. Also, it came in a blister pack, so I felt it would prevent, or at least minimise, the introduction of any bacteria near the healing incision.


November 9, 2011 at 3:57 am

Thanks for sharing — I had not heard this idea before, but it makes a lot of sense!

April 3, 2012 at 5:32 am

[...] take precautions against meningitis before undergoing the procedure.  When the day arrives, HERE are some tips to make surgery day as smooth and enjoyable as possible. [...]