Cochlear implantation has been used to rehabilitate profoundly deafened adults for more than 25 years. However, surgical labyrinthectomy is often considered a contraindication to cochlear implantation, especially if there is a significant delay between the two procedures. As the role of cochlear implantation continues to expand, this idea requires reconsideration.
A 59-year-old woman presented to our clinic after undergoing bilateral surgical labyrinthectomies for intractable Ménière's disease 21 years prior. Despite the significant time delay, she underwent cochlear implantation with a good audiological outcome and improved quality of life.
Changes to the cochlea and vestibule following surgical labyrinthectomy include cochlear ossification and obliteration of the vestibule. These issues have been thought to limit the potential for cochlear implantation, especially when there is a significant delay between the two procedures. However, delayed cochlear implantation, even decades after labyrinthectomy, remains a viable treatment option which can benefit selected patients.