Children and Young People’s Audiology
Following the assessment process, the team will meet to decide if your child would benefit from cochlear implants. You will be told about the decision, and if we are going to offer an implant, your child will be listed for surgery. You will then receive a consent appointment and a preference appointment.
Prior to the operation, you will have a pre-anaesthetic assessment appointment where the nurse will check if your child is healthy and fit for surgery. During this appointment you will be given instructions about preparing your child for their hospital stay.
Surgery takes place at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough or The Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle. One person is allowed to stay overnight on the ward with your child.
What happens on the day of the operation?
When your child returns from theatre, they will usually have an intravenous drip in their hand and a pressure bandage on their head. The drip will be removed when the time is right. The bandage creates pressure over the area and helps with healing; it can be removed after a few hours. Initially, your child will be sleepy, but most children are up and about within a couple of hours. Your child will be given antibiotics to prevent any infection.
Your child may be sick after the operation; this is usually due to the anaesthetic. During the operation some blood may pass from the ear to the mouth and the child may swallow it. This might appear later in their sick.
When the pressure bandage is removed, the surgical site will be visible. The surgical site is closed with stitches and a special type of ‘glue’. The stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be specially removed. They do not look pretty, but they do an excellent job of closing the skin to produce a neat scar in the long term.
Before you leave hospital, your child’s head will be x-rayed to check the position of the implant. Providing they are fit and well, your child will usually be allowed home one or two days after their operation.
You may wash your child’s hair after the first 48 hours, being careful to keep the site(s) dry. The scar(s) will be checked by the surgeon 1 week after surgery. There may be some of the glue remaining over the scar(s). You are encouraged to remove this leading up to your child’s switch-on appointment by gently wiping with clean water.
A date for switch-on of the implant(s) will be arranged for about three weeks after the surgery.
Things to bring to hospital:
- Pyjamas and clothes with buttons down the front as it is difficult to pass clothes over the head after surgery.
- Some of your child’s favourite toys.
- Something for you to do while you wait for your child to return from their operation.
Money for your food and car-parking.
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]