Friday, January 30, 2015

Cochlear Implant Update!

Allie 8 days after Cochlear Implant surgery
It has been one week since Allie had her implant surgery, and she's doing great! Surgery took about four hours, and she was in recovery for about two hours. She woke up in a little pain, but not too much (and she was a little confused / didn't remember what was happening at first). Her head was bound with a large gauze bandage, and she was ok. She wanted Popsicles. She would lay there while we fed her a Popsicle (eyes closed). She slept off and on while coming out of the anesthesia fog. Mostly she ate Popsicles. Before leaving the hospital Dr. Young popped in and said that the surgery was "very routine, and Allie did well." lol. Routine! I'm glad our surgeon considers such a surgery to be routine (she does 5-7 a week!). 

Relaxing before cochlear implant surgery.

We returned home that night and ate more Popsicles. The main side effect she was experiencing was a scratchy throat from the breathing tube. This went away in the first day. The only eventful thing that happened the first night was that Allie fell asleep while sitting at the kitchen table. That was adorable. 

The day after surgery we were cleared to remove the bandage (finally a look at the surgery site!). Allie was eager since it was a pressure bandage. She had no bruising, no facial nerve issues, nothing. The incision is about 2 1/2" long and is tucked in the crease behind her ear. There is a small (1" x  3"?) patch of hair shaved near there, and a pen mark marking the spot where the internal device was placed (this is where the magnetic transmitter will sit once she gets her processor). She had very little blood, and the wound was already really clean and looking like it was healing! The stitches are dissolveable, so aside from not touching, the only thing we needed to do was keep it dry. 

Waking up from cochlear implant surgery.

The first two days Allie ate lots of Popsicles and had pain meds (proscribed and OTC, alternating). She was only a little sore. By day three she was able to lay on that side without much of a problem, and by day 5 she was pretty much pain free other than sore around the internal implant. Now, at a week later she's barely sore. Behavior / energy wise she slept and played quietly most of the first two days, then by day 3 she was about 85%, She's almost at 100% now, tiring a little more easily than normal.
The evening of her cochlear implant surgery, bandaged, sleeping.

We had our followup with the surgeon (well, with her resident), and he said everything looks great, she's healing well, and now we can resume normal activity / bathing / etc. Pretty much the only thing she can't do is wear a bicycle helmet (for the next 30 days). She's doing great! 

One day after cochlear implant surgery, bandage off, small scar.

I'm posting this here because it has been really comforting to me to read other parent's experiences. The doctors can explain everything, and I can (and have) read just about everything published about CI's. The truth is though, it's like hearing it from your friend when you read it like this. It's reassuring. 

Also, in my research it seems like Allie's incision is TINY. Oh my, the pictures one finds when looking for CI information! So, it may seem silly to post the pic, but it is so amazing to me. It's just so so small. For the first couple days Allie would have me take a picture every morning so she could see what it looked like. 


  1. wow. It IS amazing, and I'm so glad she's doing so well!!

  2. I am so happy everything went so well. What a brave cutie pie you have.

  3. I'm glad the surgery went well and that she's recovering without issues!

  4. This is such great news! And I agree - it's much more comforting to read about something like this on a blog, where a real live parent and her daughter have been through this. When will she get the magnetic piece?

  5. Thank you for posting about this! I'm so happy that she is doing so well! Keep us updated. :)

  6. Glad to hear that all is going well! I can't wait to hear how it goes when the implant gets activated next week. I know there will be lots of tweaking as you go along, but the hospital has such a great team… very exciting!

  7. I'm grateful for this post. My 9 year old is having surgery this Friday at NYU and we are anxious for the surgery part of it to be over!