Cochlear implant surgery in patients more than seventy-nine years old

Adrien A. Eshraghi, Michael Rodriguez, Thomas J. Balkany, Fred F. Telischi, Simon Angeli, Annelle V. Hodges, Eelam Adil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the surgical complications, auditory performance, and hearing handicap following cochlear implantation in patients greater than 79 years of age. Study Design: Retrospective trial, tertiary referral center. Methods: The study group was comprised of 21 patients implanted after 79 years of age from 1996 through 2006 with follow-ups past their 8th decade. Pre-op evaluation consisted of pure-tone audiometry and speech discrimination scores (Hearing in Noise Test and City University of New York sentence test). The results of these tests were compared to similar tests taken post-op. A validated hearing handicap questionnaire was used to evaluate the outcome. Results: There were no permanent medical or surgical complications. However, two patients developed exacerbations of previous comorbid conditions (i.e., urinary retention and acute delirium). Implanted patients experienced a significant improvement in audiologic performance, post-op pure tone average, and post-op speech scores (P <.001). A majority of them were able to use the phone and reported that the cochlear implant was of great benefit to them. The post-op hearing handicap inventory for the elderly demonstrated a significant decrease of hearing handicap scores. Conclusions: This is the first study to focus on a patient group this advanced in age. With increasing life expectancy, we should begin to stratify risk versus benefit of cochlear implantation in this age group. Cochlear implantation improved audiologic performance and the quality of life in patients older than 79 years old. There were no permanent medical or surgical complications. Chronic pain and temporary vertigo were the most common complications reported in this elderly group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1183
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Cochlear implant
  • Elderly patient
  • Hearing handicap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Medicine(all)


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