Getting a Cochlear Implant


The aim of the assessment is to find out if a cochlear implant is suitable. This may involve:

  • Consultation with the ear-nose-and-throat surgeon
  • Evaluation by the audiologist
  • CT and MRI scans
  • Speech and language assessment (children)
  • Electrophysiological tests, unique to the SCIC service
  • Other investigations.

At the end of the assessment process, a decision whether or not to proceed with a cochlear implantation will be made between the client and their SCIC clinical team.


The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The cochlear-implant surgeon makes a small incision behind the ear and inserts the internal device.

The SCIC electrophysiology team perform detailed testing at the time of surgery to make sure the best hearing outcome is achieved from the implant.

Most patients are able to go home the day after surgery.

Beginning to listen with the implant

SCIC provides comprehensive support after the operation. This includes:

  • Initial activation of the cochlear implant approximately 2 weeks after surgery by the SCIC clinician(s)
  • Regular cochlear-implant programming (mapping), tailored to the recipient’s needs
  • Listening and communication practice using the implant
  • Support for family and the local team of professionals to ensure the most is made from the new hearing experience.

Support for life

SCIC provides ongoing, lifelong support for the cochlear implant. This includes:

  • Programming (‘mapping’) the device
  • Ongoing assessments to monitor progress
  • Providing access to the latest technology
  • Supply of loan equipment and some replacement parts
  • Communicating with funding organisations
  • Linking with other professionals involved in ongoing care.