Subcutaneous Air Around Receiver-Stimulator Causing Open-Circuit Failures: An Uncommon But Readily Treatable Condition Related to CPAP Use After Cochlear Implant Surgery.
To raise awareness of a unique complication associated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) use after cochlear implantation to improve early detection, prevent unnecessary testing, and facilitate treatment.Case series.Tertiary referral center.Patients who developed subcutaneous air around the receiver-stimulator device and the associated ground electrode in the setting of CPAP usage, which resulted in open-circuit electrode failures.Clinical course and intervention.Two patients were identified that fit this criterion. Both patients were noted to have poor implant performance secondary to high or open impedances and concomitant emphysema surrounding the cochlear implant receiver-stimulator. Manual massage offered transient improvement, but programming changes ultimately led to improved sound quality and resolution of impedance anomalies in both cases.Subcutaneous air collection surrounding the cochlear implant receiver-stimulator in the setting of CPAP use is an uncommon but clinically relevant complication that can be recognized by characteristic physical examination findings and impedance changes. Early and accurate recognition of this event can prevent unnecessary testing and facilitate early effective treatment.