OBJECTIVE To study the dimensions of the facial recess and the spatial relationship between the facial recess and the cochlea, using CT scanning in cochlear implantees. METHOD In 29 cochlear implantees, preoperative CT scans of the temporal bone were compared with findings done at surgery. The dimensions of the facial recess and the relationship between the facial recess and the cochlea were both measured on a viewing station and classified on printed films by 3 blinded and independent reviewers. RESULTS No significant relations could be found between either intuitive classification of facial recess width or electrode array insertion feasibility and the measurements with the viewing station. The 3 reviewers had large interobserver variability. In 5 cases, neither intuitive review of the CT scans nor viewing station measurements could predict any of the problems encountered during surgery. CONCLUSION Our findings show that intuitive review was not reliable in classifying facial recess width. Viewing station measurements, in classifying the spatial relation between the facial recess and the cochlear basal turn, need a more detailed review in terms of the relationship with the operation direction and the orientation of the basal turn of the cochlea. Advanced imaging techniques, specifically multislice CT, might improve the diagnostic capabilities.