To prospectively document the surgical pain, assessing analgesia use as a proxy, and postoperative dizziness in children over the first week after cochlear implantation.
Tertiary referral hospital and cochlear implant program.
Children aged 0 to 16 years inclusive undergoing cochlear implant surgery, who returned to see the primary surgeon for the postoperative 1-week follow-up appointment.
One-week postoperative collection of data via direct questioning of parents and children.
Main Outcome Measures
Analgesia use, duration of analgesia use and dizziness (nil, slight, or moderate), type of surgery, and radiologic findings.
Data were available for 61 of 98 children aged 5 months to 15 years. Children underwent first side implant (n = 27), sequential second side implant (n = 15), bilateral simultaneous (n = 16), and explant reimplantation (n = 3). On average, children used paracetamol for only 1.9 days after discharge from the hospital. Longer average paracetamol use was associated with bilateral simultaneous surgery (3.3 d after discharge from the hospital) and also the younger age group of 0 to 12 months (3.2 d). Slight dizziness was reported by 8% of all children at 1 week postsurgery.
No child had marked dizziness or unsteadiness. Four children had large vestibular aqueducts on radiology scans, two (50%) of these children has slight unsteadiness at 1 week postoperatively.
Our study shows cochlear implant surgery is well tolerated by children. This information enables better counseling of families and children considering cochlear implantation.