Bone-Anchored Devices for Conductive and Mixed Losses
A bone anchored implant combines the concepts of osseointegration and bone conduction hearing. Osseointegration is a structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of an implant. This involves the anchoring of a surgical implant (as in a bone-anchored implant) by the growth of bone around it. A bone-anchored device is a surgically implantable system for the treatment of hearing loss through direct bone conduction (Cass and Tringali, 2016).
Bone-anchored devices have been used since 1977 and were FDA approved for treatment of conductive and mixed hearing loss in the U.S. in 1996. In 2002, the FDA approved its use for single-sided deafness as well (Cass and Tringali, 2016)(this was discussed in the SSD blog on our website).
The bone-anchored system consists of three parts:
• A small titanium implant that sits in the bone behind the implanted ear
• An abutment or magnet
• A sound processor that sits behind the ear
How does it work?
The sound processor either clicks on the abutment or a magnet is implanted under the skin and the processor is attached to a second external magnet which attracts to the internal magnet. Once the processor is attached, the processor picks up sound waves and transforms them into sound vibrations through the skull.
Who is a candidate?
Those with conductive or mixed hearing loss could be considered a candidate. Ear problems which could cause conductive or mixed losses include recurrent ear infections, congenital aural atresia or ear malformation or stenosis of the ear canal.
At SENT Hearing Aid Center, we program two transcutaneous devices: one by Oticon Medical and another by Cochlear Corporation. We also program the two magnet-based systems: one made by Cochlear Corporation and the other by Sophono.
For more information, contact our office.
Cass, S., & Tringali, S. (2016). Surgical placement of bone-anchored hearing systems. Medscape, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1604065-overview