Introduction: As average life-expectancy increases, a sufficient hearing rehabilitation for elderly patients with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss becomes more important. Cochlear implantation is a relatively safe surgical procedure also for elderly patients, the higher risk is caused by general anesthesia. We report on four patients who underwent cochlear implantation under local anesthesia. Methods: After detailed preoperative examinations (audiological tests, imaging, genetic tests, evaluation of motivation and compliance of the patient), four patient with severe-to-profound hearing loss were selected for cochlear implantation under local anesthesia. For the electrode insertion, we used the posterior suprameatal approach technique. Pre- and postoperative pure tone audiometry and speech-perception tests were conducted to prove the success of the procedure. Results: The mentioned technique was applied; the average length of the operation was 52 min. The intraoperative measurements showed normal impedance and normal neuronal response telemetry, all the patients had sound experience during the intraoperative examination of the engineer. No complications were observed. The postoperative audiological tests showed a significant increase in the hearing perception. Conclusion: Cochlear implantation under local anesthesia is a safe and fast procedure for elderly patients. The intraoperative sound experience can give an extra motivation in the postoperative rehabilitation. Our results prove that by carefully selected elderly patients cochlear implantation can assure a significant increase in speech perception. We can establish that the new posterior suprameatal approach technique combined with local anesthesia presents a viable future option for those patients who were inoperable beforehand because of high risks of general anesthesia.
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