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Migration of cochlear implant magnets after head trauma in an adult and a child

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October 1, 2007
by Robert J. Stokroos, MD, PhD; Pim van Dijk, PhD

Cochlear implantation is considered to be a safe and effective treatment for severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Device failures are rare. We report the cases of 2 patients-a 44-year-old woman and a 3-year-old boy-with cochlear implants who were referred to our tertiary cochlear implant center for treatment of magnet migration secondary to mild head trauma. The migra-tion had led to device failure in both cases. Surgical re- exploration was performed with nonmagnetic instruments, and both magnets were easily returned to their proper place. Postoperatively, implant function was restored to previous levels, and wound healing was uncomplicated. The incidence of magnet migration in cochlear implant patients is unknown. A few cases have been reported in children, but to the best of our knowledge, ours is the first report of magnet migration in an adult.

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