REVIEW – December 2003

Cochlear implantation


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Cochlear implantation is a quite safe and perspective clinical procedure for the deaf, who suffer from severe hearing loss, when no improvement is achieved with the use of the best conventional hearing aids. Cochlear implantation is a process which involves a preliminary period with assessment of patients’ biological, psychological and social criteria for implantation, surgery (including placement of the implant) and the long follow-up and rehabilitation period.
The producer teamwork in which ear surgeons, audiologists, engineers/technicians, speech and language therapists, social workers and psychologists as well as the patient and family members participate. Rehabilitation outcomes depend on several factors, among these the support given by parents is very important. Cochlear implantation improves life quality, enhances communication, promotes education and later enables to find a suitable job. It can be firmly stated that majority of implanted patients will manage in their adult life and will not be socially dependent on others.  Since February 2003, cochlear implantation is included in the services covered by medical insurance. This facilitates the development of cochlear implantation in Estonia.