Objectives: To evaluate the complications in children who underwent cochlear implantation between 1991 and 2002 at Chi Mei Medical Center, Taipei Medical University. Method: The medical records of 169 cases of pediatric cochlear implants from 1991 to 2002 with a follow-up period of 3-11 years were reviewed for demographics and complications. A follow-up phone call and clinical visits were performed to determine the long-term results. Results: The medical-surgical complications were facial nerve stimulation, transient dizziness, flap breakdown, minor change of taste, cholesteatoma, otitis media with effusion and mastoiditis. The device-related complications included 4 device failures and 1 device breakage in a traffic accident. Conclusion: Chronic otitis media and cholesteatoma developed in children as long-term complications and surgical challenges. Nevertheless, cochlear implantation surgery in children is a reliable and safe procedure with a low percentage of severe complications. To prevent cholesteatoma formation, parents are advised to schedule a regular ENT consultation at least yearly for early identification and treatment in the stages of acute otitis media or drum retraction.
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