CONCLUSION: Switch-on within 24 h after cochlear implantation can be safely and practically performed. The minimally invasive approach presented here also brought about benefits such as nonstop rehabilitation programs and shorter duration of uncertainty/worry for patients and their families about surgical outcomes. Those were important factors for international patients. Our research invites further studies to show whether instant commencement of electrical stimulation helps to expedite long-term hearing/speech performance in cochlear implantees.
OBJECTIVES: Initial switch-on generally could not launch until weeks after cochlear implantation due to factors associated with wound conditions. Commencement of electrical stimulation within 24 h after the surgery has long been performed in our department on a routine basis. The idea issued from the need to sew-and-go for international patients. This study presents the safety and feasibility of the procedure.
METHODS: Charts of 79 subjects with profound hearing impairment were studied. A minimally invasive approach was used for cochlear implantation, with an intention to control wound condition and tissue swelling. Hearing threshold was measured preoperatively and postoperatively.
RESULTS: Initial switch-on within 24 h was done in all patients. Good hearing gain was obtained. No major complication occurred. There was no significant difference in hearing postoperatively that was attributable to the early switch-on.