There are a number of different body scanning techniques, most of which are absolutely fine with a cochlear implant. CT scans, for example, which use X-rays to look at hard structures inside the body, can be used for a person with a cochlear implant, as long as they take off their external speech processor before the scan starts. An MRI scan, however, which is sometimes used in hospitals to look at softer structures inside the body, works using a strong magnetic field. As there is metal in the internal part of the cochlear implant, having an MRI scan with a cochlear implant needs more careful planning, regardless of which part of the body is being scanned.
All of the manufacturers have protocols in place which mean that an MRI with a CI is possible, but it will ALWAYS need the scanning department at the hospital to liaise with us at the Implant Centre to make sure that the settings and procedures have been followed for the scan to be safe for you and for the hospital’s equipment.
If you have a condition which means that MRI scans are likely to be needed regularly, we would suggest that we discuss your choice of implant with you directly, so that we can make sure your local hospital keeps us in the loop for your future scans.