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Cochlear Implant Surgery: Cost, Benefits and Risks

Low cost Cochlear Implant in India

  • 2021-04-24

Get Cochlear Implant in India. The average Cochlear Implant cost ranges from 2000 $ to 4000 $ in the best hospitals from top ENT specialists in India.

What is Cochlear Implant? 

Over 5% of the world’s population suffer from hearing loss due to acquired or congenital causes (WHO report). Hearing aids are most commonly used for deafness. No doubt hearing aids offer a great service to patients with hearing loss, but it is useful for people who need a certain sound to be louder. In some medical or physiological conditions like hearing loss due to aging, diabetes, and injury the hearing aid can prove beneficial. Hearing aids amplify sound louder so that our hearing system can receive the sound waves.

A cochlear implant is a which helps to regain the hearing capacity of a patient who has a serious hearing loss due primarily to certain conditions or defects in the inner ear; mainly the area known as “cochlea”. Cochlear implants are a great choice in sensorineural hearing loss caused by cochlear damage. It is useful for people who have an intact auditory nerve. Cochlear implants can prove beneficial to both adults and children. The device is surgically implanted inside the ear and skull. It bypasses the part of the ear which is defective and directly communicates with the auditory nerve.

The cochlear implant device has

A microphone.

An implant called an Electrode array is surgically placed in the inner part of the ear in the cochlear region, which collects impulses sends them to different parts of the auditory nerve.

A sound processor, which is an external device. It receives incoming sound waves and sends them to implants.

 

A transmitter that converts signals into electronic impulses.

Cochlear implants can benefit people

Who is suffering from severe bilateral hearing loss with a threshold of hearing above 90dB?

People suffering from sensorineural hearing loss.

People who have tried hearing aid and did not give them much benefit.

People who have scored less than 50 percent in the sentence recognition test.

Types of hearing loss

Conductive deafness

Any problem that interferes with the conductive function of the ear canal, tympanic membrane, or ossicles can result in conductive hearing loss.

Sensorineural deafness

Sensorineural deafness is caused by damage or defect in the cochlea, vestibulocochlear nerve, or auditory path. Sensorineural deafness in children causes impairment of speech discrimination, the latter is an abnormal perception of increased intensity of sound with increasing signal volume that results from the damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. This results in decreased functional dynamic range so that a small increase in sound intensity is uncomfortable.

Mixed

When conductive as well as sensorineural deafness is present, it is mixed deafness.

Types of devices for hearing loss

Cochlear devices

Hearing Aids- Conventional, Bone Anchored Hearing Aids, Vibrant sound bridge

Auditory brainstem implant

Assistive devices

FAQs about Cochlear Implant

Can I go underwater/ Swimming?

The external processor part of the implant is not waterproof and thus should be removed before going swimming. The only restriction is for Scooba diving because the change in air pressure is not advisable.

Can I sleep wearing a cochlear implant?

The implant is prone to fall off during sleep and may get damaged. Also, it is uncomfortable and to save batteries it is advised that you uninstall the device before you go to bed. When you live on your own, it is suggested to use external assistive hearing equipment for alerting purposes.

How frequently I need follow-up appointments?

Cochlear implants are a lifetime investment. You need to go for a follow-up after two weeks of surgery. Then after one month, 3-4 appointments are scheduled within six months. These appointments are intended to provide you with a transitional time to help you acclimate to the different sounds you can hear from your cochlear implant. After these initial appointments, you can expect to be seen every three to six months over the first two years, and then every year thereafter.

Can cochlear implants restore normal hearing I people who are deaf?

No, cochlear implants do not restore natural hearing. It's a coping aid, so it's not a cure for deafness.

 

How long does a cochlear implant last?

The surgically inserted product is intended to last a lifetime. However, there have been several instances in which equipment loss has occurred and the unit has been surgically removed.

What is implantation surgery?

Cochlear implantation is relatively smooth and minimally invasive. In most cases, implantation may be conducted on an outpatient basis. The operation itself normally lasts two to four hours, with extra time in the planning and rehabilitation areas while the implantation is conducted under general anesthesia.

Benefits and Risks of Cochlear Implants

Pros

Loss of hearing may have a huge effect on an individual's everyday life and restrict the person from experiencing cherished moments. But it's incredibly important for people like this to get support. Cochlear Implants are useful to many hearing loss patients.

Children in Speech development by improving hearing.

The person can hear and understand speech after auditory training.

Confidence of the patient improves. The patient feels independent.

Can make telephone calls.

Can watch Tv and enjoy music more easily.

Able to hear better even in a noisy and crowded environment.

Feels safer as they can hear horns of vehicles and other sounds.

Cons

A cochlear implant is generally a safe procedure, but it might present certain complications. They are generally manageable. People will also have to adapt to some lifestyle changes as the implant has batteries and electrodes. Maintenance of implant is necessary.

Wound infection

Flap necrosis

Meningitis

Giddiness/ Dizziness/ Vertigo

Displacement of the electrode

Tinnitus, Numbness around the ear

One must remove the external component to the bath and regularly recharge the batteries.

Might lose remaining natural hearing of ear with the implant

May is not able to go for an MRI scan. However, newer technology is designed safe for MRI.

Has to be turned off for take-offs and landings in aircraft. Has to inform airport security to avoid metal detectors or other security systems.

Cochlear Implant Surgery Risks

Risks depend upon the overall health and medical history of the patient. It can lead to serious effects like

Bell’s Palsy- Injury to the facial nerve

Allergic reaction to general anesthesia

Cerebrospinal fluid leakage

Failure of the device

Why choose India for Cochlear Implant Surgery

India is Asia's fastest-growing medical tourism destination. India has been a regional healthcare hub for countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan and, the Middle East, Africa. Indian hospitals are building a reputation around the world by use of advanced technology, high-quality implants, internationally accepted safety, and quality standards for hospitals. Doctors, Surgeons in India are highly qualified and skilled with a lot of experience. Also, there is a minimal language barrier issue. Moreover, the range of multi-specialty hospitals in India is entirely fitted with the most up-to-date facilities and has made the healthcare procedure incredibly viable and cost-effective for countless people around the world. Thus, India has emerged as a massively promising choice as a care destination for such patients.

India is the most preferred destination for patients pursuing low-cost Cochlear Implant Surgery. The expense of cochlear implant surgery in India is usually a lot cheaper with the same treatment and care in the US and other developing countries. India is the cheapest compared to some developing and developed countries. The cost for treatment and surgery is 30-50% less than in other countries. The cost may vary if there is any particular condition or complication present. The approximate cost of cochlear implant surgery in the USA, Singapore, Thailand, and India is given in the table.

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