Rates of Delayed Postcochlear Implant Pain in the Pediatric Population - Role of Proactive Approach

Tomer Rotlevi, Oren Ziv, Itai Hazan, Oded Cohen, Hasan Al Jaar, Mohamad Alkrenawi, Daniel M. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To investigate the rates of delayed postoperative cochlear implantation pain (DPCIP) in the pediatric population, using a "reach-out"proactive approach. Secondary aims included the possible impact of surgery extent or the patient ethnicity on DPCIP rates. Materials and methods A cross-sectional study was conducted at Soroka University Medical Center in Israel. Demographics and data regarding the surgery and surgical complications were collected from the medical records of the patients. A telephone questionnaire was conducted for parents of all children who underwent cochlear implantation (CI) between 2007 and 2020. The questions addressed pain at four time periods: during hospitalization after surgery, 3 months, 2 years, and 5 years after surgery. Results Out of 213 patients, 129 (60%) were included in this study. The mean age was 41 months (±40). Unilateral CI was performed in 72 (56%) patients. At 3 months and 2 years after surgery, 8.5% of patients reported pain (visual analog scale [VAS] ≥ 1). Five years after surgery, a slight increase in the number of patients who reported pain (12%) was observed. Of those experiencing pain 2 years and 5 years after surgery, 10/12 (83%) and 11/16 (69%), respectively, reported a new onset of the pain. Surgery extent and cultural background were not significantly associated with DPCIP rates. No correlations were found between patients complaining of pain and any surgical complications. Conclusions DPCIP rates may be underrecognized and higher than previously reported, reaching up to 12%. This long-term effect should be acknowledged and discussed with parents upon informed consent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-895
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Cochlear implant
  • Delayed pain
  • Pain
  • Pediatrics


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