Bone Anchored Hearing Transplant
Most conventional hearing aids transmit sound using air as a conduction medium. A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a hearing aid that uses bone conduction to transmit sounds to the inner ear. With normal inner ear anatomy but abnormal outer or middle ear anatomy, sound conducted through the skull bone improves hearing. A BAHA is surgically implanted behind the ear onto the skull bone, giving it easy access to transmit sounds to the inner ear.
Who needs a BAHA?
A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a suitable method of helping patients who have conductive hearing loss, unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss, single-sided deafness or people with mixed hearing loss who cannot wear an “in the ear” hearing aid. It is suitable for people with normal inner ear function but problems conducting sound to the nerve cells of the inner ear, possibly due to middle ear conditions, outer ear problems or congenital defect of the ear.
How does a BAHA work?
The BAHA uses a surgically implanted magnet to transmit sound by direct conduction to the inner ear through the bone, bypassing the external auditory canal and middle ear. It is based solely on bone conduction using a magnetic implant placed in the skull bone behind the ear. A sound processor, located external to the skin, connects to the implant through the magnetic power. Sound waves will be received by the BAHA sound processor. These sound waves travel through bone conduction to the functioning cochlea will then bypass the middle ear and are delivered directly to the working cochlea in both ears.
Until recently, the BAHA was only placed with an abutment. The abutment connected the implant to the outside atmosphere, creating easy access to the underlying tissue and an infection-prone area. Now, we can perform this procedure with a magnet, preventing any access for germs and infection. We also do BAHA abutment revisions, where the abutment can be replaced with the magnet. If you choose to do so, we can also perform the BAHA implant with the original abutment.
What to expect after surgery?
Once implanted, it will take a period of two months for the implant to become osseointegrated with the skull bone. After this point, the sound processor can be attached over the skin where the implant was placed, and the patient will be able to hear with the BAHA system for the first time. The surgery for a BAHA implant is minor, and most BAHA patients report many advantages over other hearing aids. The procedure takes approximately one hour.