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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #22

Pediatric Cochlear Implants

with Dr. Prashant Malhotra

We talk with Dr. Prashant Malhotra from Nationwide Children’s Hospital about Pediatric Cochlear Implants, including workup and patient selection.

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Pediatric Cochlear Implants with Dr. Prashant Malhotra on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 22 Pediatric Cochlear Implants with Dr. Prashant Malhotra
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2021, May 11). Ep. 22 – Pediatric Cochlear Implants [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Prashant Malhotra discusses Pediatric Cochlear Implants on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Prashant Malhotra

Dr. Prashant Malhotra is a member of the Department of Otolaryngology and the Hearing Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Gopi Shah discusses Pediatric Cochlear Implants on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Gopi Shah

Dr. Gopi Shah is a practicing ENT at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Ashley Agan discusses Pediatric Cochlear Implants on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Ashley Agan

Dr. Ashley Agan is a practicing ENT and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.


In this episode, pediatric otolaryngologist Dr. Prashant Malhotra and our hosts discuss hearing evaluations, pediatric cochlear implants, surgery considerations for patients with inner ear malformations, and patient/family education.

To start, Dr. Malhotra describes how pediatric cochlear implantation candidates present to him in terms of age and test results. He guides us through his diagnostic workup, which includes a questionnaire, physical exam, imaging, CMV IgG test, connexin test, and next-generation genetic sequencing. Dr. Malhotra also describes collaboration between otolaryngologists, audiologists, and social workers within his multidisciplinary cochlear implant center.

Next, we cover cochlear implantation in children with inner ear malformations, such as CHARGE syndrome and EVA syndrome. These cases present the challenge of abnormal cochleas and higher CSF pressure. Dr. Malhotra also discusses treatment considerations for patients with single-sided deafness and post-lingual deafness. Additionally, he discusses long-term complications of cochlear implants. Complications can include pain, vertigo, acute otitis media (OM) episodes, and meningitis.

Finally, we expand our discussion to encompass patient and family education. This last segment covers topics such as childhood vaccination awareness, benefits of early hearing screenings, management of family expectations, and tracking academic milestones in pediatric cochlear implantation patients.


American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACIA)-
General information about cochlear implants.

AG Bell-
Online resource for families seeking information about speech development and Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT).

Transcript Preview

[Dr. Gopi Shah]
I think sometimes it's easy to undervalue sound awareness, because we're so hyper-focused on speech, but interaction with your surroundings, even just hearing Mom's voice, can probably bring a lot more value than maybe we give it credit for.

[Dr. Prashant Malhotra]
Completely. I think it's actually a very crucial idea, especially when you and I are accustomed to working with very complicated kids. In some of these kids, it's not the hearing that's preventing them from really getting their language development. Many of those kids will need manual communication devices regardless.

When we have families who are trying to make that decision about whether to implant, I'm thinking, "Okay, well, what is this kid like without an implant versus with an implant?" I’m not comparing these kids to outstanding star performers who speak three languages. I'm thinking, “Can an implant change this kid's life?”

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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