About the Cochlear Implant Program

The Cochlear Implant Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers customized care to children with sensorineural hearing loss who are being evaluated for cochlear implantation, and children who already use cochlear implants.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care for a child and family, to educate other professionals with whom the child may interact and to conduct research into improving outcomes with the technology.

Our cochlear implant program has over 25 years of experience working with this technology, and is part of the Department of Audiology. Our multidisciplinary team includes audiologists, otolaryngologists, speech-language pathologists, a child and family therapist, and educational consultant.

About cochlear implant

The device

The cochlear implant is an electronic device that can provide auditory sensation to a person with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. The cochlear implant bypasses the damaged organ of hearing and stimulates the auditory nerve directly. The cochlear implant consists of a surgically implanted component and an externally worn component. With a cochlear implant, children may be able to hear and speak better. Outcomes vary, however, based on the individual.


Families seeking a cochlear implant for their child must understand the significance of this type of intervention. Because a child must learn to understand the sounds that he or she hears through the implant (a process that can take years), the candidacy evaluation is thorough. This is done to ensure that the child is an appropriate candidate and that appropriate long-term follow up and a suitable educational environment are in place.

Ongoing care

After a child has received an implant, ongoing care must ensure that a child's hearing is optimized, that spoken language goals are being met, that the family is best prepared to advocate for the child and that the child's educational environment is appropriate.


Clinical and basic science research seeks to expand the knowledge of the outcomes, technology and physiology for the benefit of people who use the cochlear implant. Research includes manufacturer-initiated clinical trials as well as research where the primary investigator is a member of the cochlear implant team. Results of this work are regularly published in peer-review journals and are presented at international conferences.

Next Steps