Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Surgery Date Set

Playing in Brooklyn

We returned to the Big Apple to see the surgeon with regard to Nolan's cochlear implant. The hearing tests already demonstrated he would be a good candidate for the implant, but this appointment was to determine if he was a good candidate medically. The staff at NYU is just amazing - truly, they are world-class. Dr. R. looked at Nolan's MRI and CT scan results from when he was a baby (normal anatomy). His anatomy is good, so there will be no issues with the device placement.

The one thing we were worried about is the gaping hole in Nolan's right eardrum. We have been told the hole is about 15% to 20% of his eardrum, and I had no idea what they were going to do about that. Would they need to do a second surgery to seal the eardrum? Would that preclude him from candidacy? I truly had no idea, and was hopeful it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Fortunately, this is NYU and they are amazing, so there will just be one surgery and Nolan will have his tympanoplasty when the cochlear implant is placed. I am extremely grateful this will be a "one and done" surgery. This will also prevent more infections from happening to that ear, as most infections arise because he has a massive hole in his eardrum. We are very careful to keep that ear dry, but it will be a relief not to worry about water in the ear anymore.

Surgery is scheduled for November 11, which is fantastic as Nolan will miss less school (Veteran's Day Holiday). He will obviously miss some school the week after surgery, but we are trying to keep the missed days to a minimum.

NYU  Medical Center

He will be "switched on" December 6 and December 7. He will get his first MAP (program) on December 14.  Hearing with a cochlear implant is a process, and the programming has to be adjusted frequently in the initial stages. The sound will likely be strange for a while, but with time and therapy his brain will adjust and the sound will normalize.

We drove home immediately after the appointment and made it home by 1:00 am. Fortunately we won't return until November 10, so we have some downtime before the crazy travel schedule hits again!


Herding Grasshoppers said...

So excited for Nolan - for the great potential for success, better health, and better HEARING :D

Emily said...

Congrats on the surgery date!! I just saw your comment on my blog post and thought I'd stop by to wish you luck!! Are you a member of any CI parent facebook groups? I've found them very helpful (especially when waiting for surgery to be over & with those first "is this normal" questions). Check out Parents of Children with Cochlear Implants ( and look for the (adult) support page for whatever brand you're using. We use AB and the "Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant User Group" has been great in figuring out specifics about the processor etc. They're mostly adult users so they know the ins and outs of the processors! Best of luck!!!

dlefler said...

Thanks, Emily! We have also chosen AB and are on the Parents of Children with Cochlear Implants page. We are very anxious for Friday - I can't believe that we are already nearly there!