Cochlear Implant Process

Assessment and Surgery

All candidates undergoing assessment will first go through detailed audiological assessment and counselling. The initial appointment usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours. 

If the results of the initial assessment suggest that an individual is a potential candidate, then further testing is scheduled. This includes a high-resolution CT scan, balance test (VNG) and a follow-up appointment with one of the program’s surgeons. Once all appointments are completed then an individual’s candidacy for cochlear implant surgery can usually be confirmed during a Cochlear Implant Team meeting. 

If the initial testing does not suggest candidacy at that time, patients are asked to resume follow up care with their local hearing professional(s).Confirmed candidates for cochlear implant surgery are placed on a waiting list. Surgery is not scheduled until meningitis vaccines have been received as per Health Canada recommendations.


  1. After surgical placement of the implant, a four week period is required to allow adequate healing of the incision site. Initial activation of the cochlear implant (hook-up) is typically a 2 hour procedure. During the activation, the device is adjusted and tuned using a computer.
  2. Reprogramming, for which the patient must return to the centre, is done approximately one week following activation, and then periodically over the next few months until stimulation levels stabilize. After the first year, patients will be asked to return to the centre at least annually for reprogramming, an equipment check and a formal evaluation.