I slept through the entire procedure so I don’t have anything to report about my surgery. However, I can tell you what the psychotherapist who had observed Dr. Peters in surgery told me in my pre-op interview:
In her opinion, cochlear implant surgery is like dental surgery in that there is not much blood involved and the surgical instruments resemble tools a dentist uses. The doctor cleans the area, makes an incision behind the ear, drills through the skull to thread the electrodes into the cochlea, creates a niche in the skull above the ear to place the implant, and closes the incision.
The psychotherapist said that, having observed the procedure, she would never be afraid to have a cochlear implant herself, should the need arise. Even though I was asleep while it happened to me, I can agree that there is nothing to be afraid of.