INTRODUCTION: Cochlear implantation is a clinically routine treatment for patients with severe sensorineural hearing loss for over 20 years. Up to now, the general recommendation for speech processor activation was 4 weeks after cochlear implantation. The aim of this study was to determine whether activation is possible at <4 weeks postop and to show the postoperative change in telemetry over time.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was retrospectively carried out at the Karl Landsteiner University Hospital St. Pölten, Austria. Patients who routinely received a CI between January and August 2013 were included in this study. Two weeks after the surgery clinical complications, the ability to wear the audio processor and the impedance values were analysed.
RESULTS: Forty-five patients were included in this study. Forty patients were examined at the first postoperative visit, scheduled 2 weeks after the surgery. In nine cases, a mild wound-healing complication occurred; just in one patient, the activation could not carry out immediately. There were no statistically significant differences between the intraoperative, the 2- and 6-week postop impedance measurements for each channel.
DISCUSSION: We used the minimally invasive approach and soft implantation technique in all of our patients and believe this to have been a major reason that earlier activation was possible. With this technique, you can reduce the wound-healing process, which makes it possible for the wound to heal fully and for the patient to wear the sound processor over the wound without problems. We found out that telemetry is not a predictor for the time of activation.
CONCLUSION: Based on the results in this study, an earlier activation can be recommended. This will shorten the time the patient needs to wait following cochlear implantation, and rehabilitation can begin sooner.
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