EVMS Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons

Cochlear Implants, Evaluations, Surgery & Follow Up

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically placed in the cochlea by a physician who specializes in disorders of the ear. Cochlear implants are recommended when a person cannot obtain sufficient hearing from hearing aids to rely on listening for communication. There is an internal part that has to be surgically placed in the ear and external part that has to be worn.


What does a cochlear implant evaluation involve?

The need for a cochlear implant is determined through an extensive evaluation process that involves working with a team of professionals including:

  • Surgeon
  • Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Audiologists
  • Social Worker
  • Nurse
  • Speech-Language Pathologist trained in Auditory-Verbal Therapy

Information to be obtained from these appointments includes but is not limited to:

  • Confirmation of the severe-to-profound degree of hearing loss (through ABR and behavioral testing as appropriate)
  • Documentation of the lack of benefit from appropriately fit hearing aids
  • Determination that you are healthy enough to undergo the surgery
  • Immunization review

The Cochlear Implant Audiologist will also:

  • Discuss the difference between hearing aids and cochlear implant
  • Discuss how the cochlear implant works
  • Demonstrate implant device systems that are currently available
  • Discuss the expected benefit that you will receive with a cochlear implant based on the results obtained during the evaluation process


What happens after you have received the implant?

  • The implant will be activated for the first time about one month after surgery and you will learn how to use and take care of the equipment.
  • Numerous appointments to the implant audiologist are required the first year to maximize the amount of benefit you will receive from the cochlear implant. After the first year, appointments will be scheduled once or twice a year depending on your needs.
  • Children with cochlear implants will require weekly speech therapy with a speech pathologist trained in Auditory-Verbal therapy.

Throughout this process, any member of the Cochlear Implant Team is available to answer questions and/or address any concerns.


For questions about cochlear, please call 757-388-6234. To schedule an appointment, please call 757-388-6200.


For more information about the cochlear implant device systems that are available in the US you can visit the following websites: