Management of electrode exposure after cochlear implantation

Evan S. Walgama, Brandon Isaacson, J. Walter Kutz, Peter S. Roland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Exposure of a cochlear implant electrode array in the middle ear or external auditory canal is an uncommon complication. We report a series of 7 patients with electrode array exposure, 5 of whom were managed without surgical intervention. OBJECTIVE: To report the outcomes of patients with electrode array exposure after cochlear implantation. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series. SETTING: Tertiary neurotology practice. PATIENTS: Patients with cochlear implant electrode exposure in the middle ear or external auditory canal. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Length of observation without deterioration of implant function and without complications. RESULTS: Five patients were managed without revision surgery. One patient presented with a poorly functioning implant, but after reprogramming, the implant returned to its baseline performance. Four other patients required no reprogramming and were managed medically without deterioration of implant function. Follow-up time was between 2 and 6 years. There were no serious complications in any patient related to their cochlear implant. CONCLUSION: Careful observation of patients with an exposed electrode array after cochlear implantation and a functioning implant seems to be a reasonable management option in select cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1200
Number of pages4
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Cochlear implantation
  • Electrode array
  • Surgical complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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