Surgery (the operation) is only one part of fitting a cochlear implant. The external parts of the implant have to be fitted and programmed and the child or young person has to learn how to use it. This page contains information about what happens in the weeks and months following the operation.

Children will need about two weeks away from pre-school or school. The external parts of the cochlear implant will be fitted approximately two to three weeks after the operation to allow the site of the surgery to heal.

The Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (SCIP) maintains close contact with the family through this stage.

Initial programming takes place at the SCIP. The Audiologist fits the external parts of the cochlear implant and the programming of the speech processor is started. It is important to note that this is the first of many programming sessions before the processor is set up optimally.

Programming and assessment continues over the following months and years.
The total number of appointments depends on individual needs. Hearing tests are completed on a regular basis.

What ongoing support can I expect for my child following surgery?

The following is an approximate outline of the contact you can expect with the team following your child’s cochlear implant. You can contact SCIP at any stage should you have any questions or concerns.

Timeline Team contact
2-3 weeks after operation Switch-on device over two days and written report
2 weeks after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
1 month after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
2 months after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
3 months after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
6 months after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
9 months after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
1 year after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
18 months after switch-on Audiology and Habilitation
Every 6 months thereafter til 6 years of age Audiology and Habilitation
Annually after 6 years Audiology and Habilitation

What is the outlook for children with cochlear implants?

A cochlear implant will not cure your child’s deafness, but it should provide a useful sensation of hearing sound. However, it takes a lot of time, patience and practice to use it as well as possible.