Cochlear implantation is usually a safe procedure but, as in most surgical interventions, it can carry some risk of complications. These can be divided into major and minor that, in turn, in turn can present early or late. This case report highlights a potential late, major complication of cochlear implantation namely extrusion, which was averted by prompt intervention. The patient presented with a three months’ history of otalgia some six yearsafter successful implantation. The posterior half of the tympanic membrane was found to be retracted on the electrode, which appeared to be on the point of extruding through the drum. A tragal cartilage myringoplasty was performed to separate the electrode from the medial surface of the tympanic membrane. There was immediate and lasting relief of the otalgia, the electrode was well protected and performance with the device was unchanged.
The authors recommend reinforcing an atrophic tympanic membrane at the time of the cochlearimplantation by a cartilage graft to avoid this potentially serious complication. The case alsohighlights the need for regular otoscopy for all implanted patients.