Hippokratia 2007; 11 (2): 77-82
G Kyriafinis, V Vital, A Psifidis, J Constantinidis, A Nikolaou, M Hitoglou - Antoniadou, A Kouloulas
Cochlear Implantation Center, 1st Otolaryngology Department of Aristotle University, AHEPA Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
Background: The cochlear implantation is among the most important achievements of medicine and biotechnology in the last 20 years, because it allows individuals who had never heard or had lost their hearing to perceive sound and improve their quality of life. Selection criteria for candidates are strict and are evaluated in each individual by a scientific committee specially trained for implantations which includes Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon, audiologist, psychiatrist and speech therapist.
Patients and methods: In our department, the first cochlear implantation was performed in 1995. During the last ten years more than 250 individuals have been evaluated due to profound hearing loss and 170 of them were found to be suitable candidates for cochlear implantation. One hundred and fifty (150) have already been operated and most of them are children with congenital hearing loss. No major or permanent complications were recorded in any of our 150 patients. Activation and fitting/mapping of the cochlear implant is initiated three weeks post-operatively. Regular follow-up and mapping of the implant are held, more frequently in children, along with specialized speech therapy. Each new mapping is evaluated according to the record of the patient with regard to the acoustic perception of sounds and speech and the discrimination of individual elements of phonation based on a protocol that we have created for the needs of Greek language.
Results: Speech discrimination (AHEPA Hospital protocol), before the Implantation, at the activation of the cochlear implant and till 4 years of the follow-up showed that in our patients, we obtained better and faster results in post-speech acquisition adults with recent or chronic deafness and in children with congenital deafness operated before the 5th year of age, who underwent special preoperative speech therapy programme, fact which is in agreement with current literature. Patient satisfaction evaluated by 'Sanders' psychometrics tests, was achieved in accordance to pre-operative expectations.
Conclusions: In our patients, we observed better and faster results in children with congenital deafness operated before the third year of age, in post-speech acquisition adults with recent deafness and in post-speech acquisition adults with chronic deafness but with auditory memory reserve.
Keywords: cochlear implant, cochlear implantation, surgical procedure of cochlear implantation, follow up of cochlear implantation, results of cochlear implantation