Patient expectations can be a sensitive and critical issue to address both pre-operatively and post-operatively with not only the patient undergoing the surgery but with the patient's family and friends. Post-operative outcomes for cochlear implant recipients can take many recognizable forms, including sound awareness (known as detection) at the most basic level to open-set speech recognition in noise, which represents the pinnacle of achievement for cochlear implant users. A nice schematic is provided to address the various levels of achievement.

The level of achievement that a patient achieves is largely dependent on his/her hearing history and exposure to amplification and spoken language. Patients who developed spoken speech prior to the onset of profound hearing loss are routinely identified as post-lingually deafened. A patient with this background in hearing is different from a patient whose primary means of communication is through sign language or other forms of manual and visual communication. Patient's who rely on sign language are often described as being pre-lingually deafened, meaning that the hearing loss preceded his/her development of spoken language.

Research has shown auditory verbal therapy and speech rehabilitation to be viable means for improving speech perception outcomes for most cochlear implant recipients. Referral for these services is optional for each patient and can be discussed with your audiologist as we are supportive of this decision. Both post-lingual as a well as pre-lingual patients can be excellent candidates for cochlear implantation and we review each patient as a unique and separate case. Cochlear implantation is a life-changing experience and we believe in serving all of our patients to the best of our knowledge and expertise.