BACKGROUND: The indications for cochlear implantation (CI) are continually evolving and, as experience accumulates, the relative contraindications for CI continue to decrease. However, there is little information regarding CI in patients who may be considered to be at risk for poor wound healing due to immunosuppression or intercurrent disease. OBJECTIVE: To assess and report the complication rates, postoperative course, postimplant rehabilitation, and long-term performance of patients considered at risk due to presumably impaired healing capability. We hypothesized that these patients had outcomes similar to other implanted patients. METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review of 277 patients who have received CI at the University of Miami Ear institute between 1990 and 1999. The clinical courses of 6 patients on immunosuppressive medications and 7 patients with diseases believed to be associated with poor healing are reported. RESULTS: Long-term follow-up (mean, 33 months) showed postoperative complication rates, performance, and rehabilitation compliance that were similar to published reports of noncompromised patients. CONCLUSION: CI of selected patients with potentially reduced healing capabilities is safe and effective.
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