Otology and neuro-otology: Edited by Myles L. PensakPreventing complications in pediatric cochlear implantationMelton, Myles F.; Backous, Douglas D. Author Information Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA Correspondence to Douglas D. Backous, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, 550 17th Street, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98122, USA Tel: +1 206 931 1906; fax: +1 206 320 2827; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: October 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 358-362 doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32834a023b Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This review addresses four key areas of controversy in the prevention of common complications of pediatric cochlear implant surgery: reducing meningitis risk, managing acute otitis media (AOM) in the cochlear implant population, assessing the optimum age for implanting a child to take advantage of the critical periods of language acquisition, and managing the social risk in defining ethical issues still surrounding cochlear implant in children. Recent findings Improved surgical techniques and the replacement of Prenvar-7 with Prenvar-13 significantly reduce the risk of cochlear implant related meningitis. AOM within 2 months of cochlear implant placement requires aggressive management to reduce the risk of complication. Tympanostomy tubes do not increase the risk of otitis media or meningitis and should be used when appropriate according to accepted AOM standards. Although the controversy over cochlear implant and the dissolution of Deaf Culture is decreasing, the use of cochlear implant in children remains an area for open dialogue between groups to ensure children are treated appropriately. Discussions ought to be based on fact and scientific evidence. Summary Although cochlear implants remain the gold standard for hearing restoration in children with severe to profound hearing loss, several issues remain controversial and are in need of further scientific exploration. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.