Health Library
Cochlear Implants

Watch a video as Michael Scott, coordinator of our Cochlear Implant Program, explains the benefits of the surgically-implanted device.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant (CI) is a device that helps children with severe to profound hearing loss. The CI allows them to have better access to sound. It consists of two parts. There is an implant that is placed within the inner ear. There is also a sound processor which is worn behind the ear. Sound is first picked up by the processor. The sound turns into a computerized signal and is sent to the implant. It is then sent to the auditor nerve and up to the brain.

Evaluation Process

Our team does a full evaluation of your child to see if cochlear implants are an option. The evaluation may include many types of hearing tests. This helps determine the impact of your child’s hearing loss. You may also need to complete imaging tests of your child’s inner ear. This can include a CT or MRI scan. These pictures help us to figure out if there are more treatment options for your child’s hearing loss. They help us decide if there are any reasons that a cochlear implant may not be the right option for your child.

If we determine that cochlear implants could help your child’s hearing, our team will evaluate your child to see if any special care needs should be part of your child’s care plan. Not all children with hearing loss can use cochlear implants.

Once the evaluations are done and we have your family’s input, our cochlear implant team will meet to talk about your child’s case. We will decide if a cochlear implant is the best choice. We will contact you after this meeting to talk about our recommendations and next steps.

Cochlear Implant Services

Appointment What to Expect
Cochlear Implant Consultation
  • See different types of cochlear implants.
  • Assess your child's communication needs.
  • Recommendations based on your child's hearing test and listening needs.
  • Talk about possible outcomes and expectations for your child.
Cochlear Implant Stimulation
  • First programming. A chance for your child to hear with the cochlear implant. 
  • Scheduled about two weeks after surgery.
  • Get instructions on how to use and care for the cochlear implant.
  • Talk about ways to help your child do well with their new cochlear implant.
Cochlear Implant Check
  • This type of follow-up appointment (sometimes called “MAPping”) is scheduled after the stimulation. It is for follow up monitoring.
  • An assessment of the cochlear implant system makes sure it works well.
  • May include a hearing test while listening with their devices.
  • Adjustments to the cochlear implant (MAPping) as needed.

Last Updated 11/2021

Reviewed By Virginia Bolster, AuD

Who treats this.

The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric audiology programs in the nation. Early intervention and active collaboration with your family can change the outcome for your child with a hearing problem.

Contact us.