Magnet displacement: a rare complication following cochlear implantation

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Jan;267(1):57-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-009-1017-5.


The purpose of this paper is to describe cases which reported complication after cochlear implantation in children: displacement of magnet from the receiver pocket, possibly aided by the use of magnetic toys. We observed magnet displacement in two female children from the same family and in one male child. Age at implantation was 23, 51, and 24 months, respectively. Magnet displacement occurred at 37, 16, and 32 months, respectively after the initial surgery. The magnets were replaced under general anaesthesia and we did not observe recurrent magnet dislodgement. Measurements indicated that forces required to remove the magnet from its pocket were not greater than those exerted by magnetic toys or the magnet used in the external sender coil. Although magnet displacement is not common after cochlear implantation, it is a major complication in children where subsequent general anaesthesia and surgery are necessary to replace the magnet. Therefore, we propose that pockets for removable magnets of cochlear implants used in children should be redesigned to increase forces to remove the magnet or that removable magnets not be used at all.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implants / adverse effects*
  • Device Removal / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnosis
  • Foreign-Body Migration / etiology*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / surgery
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetics / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence