Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation in children aged 12‒18 months is safe and can be performed using standard cochlear implant surgical techniques

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Aug;277(8):2193-2197. doi: 10.1007/s00405-020-05928-6. Epub 2020 Apr 9.


Purpose: Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation is often seen as the gold-standard intervention for many people with bilateral deafness. However, this intervention is not as commonly performed in China. This paper presents the surgical technique and the peri- and postoperative safety results from simultaneous bilateral implantation and compares them with those from sequential bilateral implantation.

Methods: Twenty nine children (aged 12‒18 months) met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and took part in this study. 10 participants received a unilateral cochlear implantation; 19 participants received simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation. The same standard surgical technique (transmastoid facial recess approach with round window insertion) was used in all implantations. Safety was assessed via monitoring peri- and postoperative adverse events. The helpfulness of select surgical tools was assessed via questionnaire.

Results: No adverse events were reported for any participants. All queried surgical tools were helpful in all 244 recorded responses.

Conclusion: Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation can be performed using the same surgical technique as unilateral implantation and poses no increased safety risk for children aged 1‒2 years.

Keywords: Pediatric cochlear implant provision; Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation; Surgical technique; Surgical tools.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Cochlear Implantation*
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Deafness* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Reference Standards
  • Treatment Outcome