There have been many decisions made along this journey so far, but one of the more easy ones is to have Drew bilaterally implanted. While this is a new practice, studies show that having both ears implanted positively impacts the recipients ability to localize sound and hear in crowded places.
Most pre-lingual, single cochlear implant recipients develop speech and language equal or almost equal to that of their hearing peers, but they still struggle in "cocktail" party settings, where loud background noise makes it hard for them to hear. This study shows the benefit of two implants for sound localization as well as hearing in crowded places.
The one struggle we are having is whether or not to have Drew implanted simultaneously or sequentially. There is not a lot of research out there on bilateral implants, and the research that is there is primarily for sequential implantation. I know that there was an 11-month old simultaneously implanted in Columbus in late December, the first in this area. What I can not understand are the risks associated with the simultaneous implants. Wouldn't it make sense to only have one surgery, if the risks were the same as having one implant?
We are continuing to gather information to make an educated decision for Drew. If you have any information regarding simultaneous bilateral implantation, please leave a link in the comments.