Will there be a scar after cochlear implant surgery?
Doctor, my child is having cochlear implant surgery. Will this leave him scarred? He's two years old now.
First of all let me start out by saying that this is definitely a question that you should bring up during a conversation with your surgeon. However, with that being said, I am happy to give you some information about cochlear implants, and surgical scarring in general. This may be very basic and information that you already know, but cochlear implants have 2 main components to them. The implantable electrode, and the external generator/processor. In order to implant the electrode within the cochlea, an incision is typically made behind the ear, and the mastoid bone is drilled out (as if one were performing a mastoidectomy for a bad ear infection called mastoiditis). This provides the surgeon access to the cochlea. The electrode is then inserted into the cochlea, and usually sutured in place. There is a magnet that is then tunneled underneath the skin of the scalp. The skin is closed with suture. The magnet is placed, because this is what the external generator/processor attaches to to communicate with the internal electrode. The incision behind the ear will scar, as does any incision through the skin, however it is intentionally placed posterior to the ear so that it is hidden. These are generally very cosmetically acceptable procedures. I hope this helps.
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