Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rachel's Cochlear Implant Surgery

Rachel had her cochlear implant surgery Thursday September 5th!  She finally got it!  We are happy to announce that all went well with the surgery and that her cochlear implant is in!  Read below for more details of her implant surgery day and the pictures.

Rachel's surgery was scheduled for 7:30 am on the 5th.  We had to be at Texas Children's Hospital at 6am. It was an early morning for us, but Rachel did well with the early wake up call.  Once we arrived at Texas Children's she enjoyed the toys while we waited for her turn to get checked in.

Playing in the toy car

Here is Rachel after she was checked in and assessed.  All ready to go to be taken back to the operating room.  Her doctor/surgeon - Dr. Vilela decided to put the implant in her right ear.  The right ear is her worst ear and the one that gets infected the most.  Dr. Vilela said that the surgery to put the cochlear implant in will also help to decrease the ear infections.  We hope down the road that she will be able to get her left ear implanted.

Rachel and daddy

Her right ear marked for surgery

She was taken back to the operating room and we went to the waiting room to wait and wait and wait.  We were told the surgery would take about 3 or more hours.  It took about 3 hours.  Dr. Vilela came out to talk to us and told us the surgery went well and the cochlear implant looked good.  They did a test while she was still in the OR and the implant is working (just not activated/turned on yet).  Once she was taken to the recovery room we were allowed to see her.  Rachel was sleeping when we came to see her, but she soon woke up more and was fussy.  Rachel usually doesn't do well with anesthesia, but this time around she did better than she had in the past.  She just wanted to be held - totally understandable.  Sweet Rachel was a trooper!

This is how she was when we first saw her
Daddy holding her
 Finally after an hour or so she was taken to a patient room.  The doctor wanted to keep her overnight for observation.  We knew this was going to happen.  I think with Rachel having a history of being so premature, the doctors get a little nervous sending her home after surgery.  Cochlear implant surgeries are typically a day surgery procedure.  Once we got to her room, Rachel continued to sleep off and on.  She was out of it.  She was also very nauseous and kept retching.  She was given a pain medicine in the recovery room that we assume didn't sit well with her on an empty stomach.  She was given nausea medication and finally able to get the nausea under control and feed her through her g-button.

Rachel still sleepy from the anesthesia
Rachel waking up some, but still out of it from the meds

After Rachel got a feeding, she started to perk up and started acting her normal active self.  Since waking up in recovery, Rachel had been trying to pull off the head bandage.  So once she was more awake she finally got that bandage off.  She is so persistent/determined and strong that its hard to stop her.  The problem with this was there was a drain tube from the incision site sticking out.  Well guess what happened once she could get to that drain tube - she pulled it out!  Rachel just doesn't like anything on her head that bothers her.  The doctor was called and he was ok with it.  Thank Goodness there were no complications from her pulling out the drain tube. (Next set of pictures are a little graphic - so warning!)

Drain tube still in before she pulled it out

After she pulled out the tube
Rachel did well overnight at the hospital and was discharged at about 10am on the 6th.  She is home and doing well.  She was acting almost 100% her normal self.  Rachel is a trooper and made it through this well.  We are so proud of her!  Her cochlear implant will be turned on September 23rd.  We look forward to that day and hope and pray that she will have a good experience when she hears sounds.  Also I forgot to mention that we chose the Advanced Bionics cochlear implant.  Cochlear implants are just amazing and I am so grateful for this technology!

Incision site healing well

Rachel glad to be home


  1. Bless Rachel! What a brave girl. :-) so pleased the operation went well, and that she is now recovering and back to feeling herself again. It will be an exciting time for her and you as a family as you go on this journey and the implant is switched on! Every good wish to you, love Heather xx

  2. Thanks for great news! Good that all went well and that soon she will hear better. Wonderful news!

  3. so excited to hear that it all went well. can't wait to see her reaction(s) when it gets turned on!

  4. Omgoodness that was a tad bit graphic lol.Have never seen what they look like or anything.Im just glad she didnt hurt anything.When I read that sentence my heart dropped and I was like ohh no,so Im just glad doctor was ok with it and she healing well :-) Thats all that matters.This little girl is so sweet and Im glad she finally got the implant.

  5. So glad she has had it and is home again. I can't wait to hear how it is when they turn it on. Praying for great results.

  6. I'm glad you are on 'this side' of the surgery, and that things turned out so well.

  7. Hello Amanda, just wanted to say a quick good luck for Rachel for tomorrow! Turning on the implant ! She is a brave girl and everything will go well. All the best thinking of you.

  8. Prayers for tomorrows activation!!

  9. Just had to check and yes I remembered correctly, tomorrow is implant turn on day. praying for good sucess. Hope to see some pics


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