What happens after Surgery?
Danny will need to give us signals to show us what he is experiencing (hopefully not too many that show he is in pain!)
There will then be further mapping sessions over several weeks to fine tune the implant to give Danny the best possible access to sound…
For Danny to hear us tell him how much we love him would be the most amazing thing that could possibly happen! For us to hear Danny call for Mummy and Daddy seems like a dream, which we hope one day will come true..
What will Danny hear?
The sounds we hear are converted into electronic signals, these are then converted by the brain to sound the way we hear them. It is still a new technology and results are hard to access, however some children who received the implants last year are already hearing speech and environmental sounds!
Auditory Brainstem Implants are suitable for those with a profound sensorineural hearing loss, leading to a total loss of sound.
What happens during surgery?
The brainstem is only about 5mm long and the paddle is even smaller at 4mm long, so a skilled surgeon with steady hands is needed! During the surgery electric acoustic brain response testing is done to check the placement of the paddle.
The implant is activated 4-6 weeks after surgery (once the swelling on the brain has gone down). This is done in hospital as there may be other parts of the body that react to the neuro stimulation and could cause discomfort. These will be switched off and the remaining electrodes will be adjusted depending on the results that they achieve.
How does it work?
An auditory brainstem implant has two parts: an external part (the ‘processor’, worn on the ear) and the surgically implanted internal part. A microphone on the processor picks up the sound around it, and turns it from a sound wave into an electrical signal. The processor then transmits the sound signal to the internal part of the hearing implant. This consists of a receiver just below the skin, together with the implant array which is positioned within the brainstem.
This means that the implant is bypassing both the cochlea and the hearing nerve, taking a short cut to the brainstem. In this way the auditory brainstem implant aims to give a sense of sound when the hearing nerve is not working.
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