Chronic otitis media (COM) patients who had a multichannel device implanted were evaluated regarding surgical problems and technical modifications. In a multicentric study, implantees whose aetiology was COM were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were operated on and evaluated at three different tertiary referral centres: SSK Izmir Hospital Cochlear Implantation (CI) Center (32 cases), Istanbul Marmara University ENT Clinic (six cases), Eskisehir Anadolu University CI Center (one case). Thirty-nine implantees were evaluated with respect to surgical problems, technical modifications, complications and hearing results. All patients had lost their hearings as a result of COM. Three out of 39 cases were children. Thirty-seven of the patients either had a radical cavity or ear converted to radical at the first stage or concomittantly with the implantation. Patients were evaluated in order to find out the best possible surgical solutions to specific problems caused by COM. In seven cases electrode array disrupted the epithelial lining of the cavity despite specific measures. Five of those cases were re-implanted, passing the electrode array through a tunnel under the facial nerve. Seven recent cases were also implanted with the same subfacial route. In all patients but one, satisfactory hearing results were achieved one to five years after implantation (SDS scores with monosyllabic word list were between 59 and 89 per cent, median 67.4 per cent). CI in COM patients necessitates technical modifications. In radical cavities subfacial implantation seems to be a good solution for the protection of the electrode array.