Cochlear Implant Surgery

Cochlear implant surgery is an effective treatment for severe hearing loss in children and adults. It is recommended for people whose ability to hear does not benefit from the use of hearing aids. Implants can augment hearing sufficiently enough to improve the understanding of speech and environmental sounds.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of an inner ear that has become impaired due to damage of the sensory hair cells. The implant uses a microphone and directly stimulates the cochlea and cochlear nerve, using electricity to provide sound signals to the brain and enable the brain to perceive sound.

Components of a Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant has 2 components:
  • Internal component (receiver)
  • External component (transmitter)


  • Children aged 2 years or older
  • People with hearing loss in both ears, approximately 90+ decibel hearing loss in children and 80+ decibel hearing loss in adults
  • People gaining little or no benefit from hearing aids
  • People with no medical reason to avoid surgery
  • People with no intellectual disability or mental illness
  • People who are able to undergo post-cochlear implant aural rehabilitation

Preoperative Assessment

  • Hearing test.
  • Physical examination, including a review of the patient’s medical history to identify the cause of the hearing loss, middle ear and external ear examination, blood test, urine test, lung test, and heart test, so as to evaluate the patient’s overall physical health before administering anesthetic for the implant procedure.
  • Intellectual and mental health assessment, as the efforts involved in learning to speak and listen as part of the development of the patient’s communication skills require high levels of concentration from the patient together with the support of a rehabilitation team and family members. Therefore, the patient’s IQ and mental health are factors in the success of the cochlear implant.

Operation Approaches

There are 2 cochlear implantation approaches:
  • Mastoidectomy with Posterior Tympanotomy Approach (MPTA)
  • Suprameatal Approach (SMP)

Postoperative Complications

Postoperative complications can be divided into 2 groups:
  • Major Complications
    • Facial nerve damage
    • Meningitis
    • Implant extrusion caused by postoperative infection
  • Minor Complications
    • Damage to the skin of the ear canal and the eardrum
    • Facial spasm while using the device

Hearing Rehabilitation

After three weeks of healing, the cochlear implant is activated. Post-implantation therapy is required for the patients to adapt to hearing sounds. The patient will also undergo a hearing test performed by the rehabilitation team as part of the scheduled follow-up appointment process.


Ear, Nose and Throat Center
Bumrungrad International Hospital (BIH) Building, 3rd floor,
South Wing Main Lobby, take the escalator to the 3rd floor, turn right to the 2nd center on the right.
Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

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Center Procedures
  • Cochlear Implant Surgery