Cochlear implants are composed of two main parts: an external processor and an internal implant.
An external processor is a device worn outside the body that captures sound and sends it to the internal implant. It typically consists of a microphone, speech processor, and transmitter that attaches to a magnet on the head.
The external processor can be easily removed for activities like showering or sleeping.
An internal implant is a device surgically implanted in the inner ear that directly stimulates the auditory nerve to produce sound. It typically consists of an electrode array that is inserted into the cochlea and a receiver that is implanted under the skin behind the ear.
The internal implant is not visible from the outside and requires a surgical procedure for implantation.
Overall, the external processor and internal implant work together as a system. The external processor captures sound and sends it to the internal implant, which directly stimulates the auditory nerve to produce sound that the brain can perceive.