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Numerous techniques have been described to manage the skin and other soft tissues during bone-anchored hearing aid insertion. Previously, generally accepted techniques have sometimes led to distressing alopecia and soft tissue defects. Now, some surgeons are rejecting the originally described split skin flap in favour of a less invasive approach.
To investigate bone-anchored hearing aid placement utilising a single, linear incision with either no or minimal underlying soft tissue reduction.
Patients and methods:
Thirty-four adults were prospectively enrolled to undergo single-stage bone-anchored hearing aid placement with this modified technique. A small, linear incision was used at the standard position and carried down through the periosteum. Standard technique was then followed with placement of an extended length abutment. Patients were reviewed regularly to assess wound healing, including evaluation with Holgers' scale.
Only 14.7 per cent of patients had a reaction score of 2 or higher. Most complications were limited to minor skin reactions that settled with silver nitrate cautery and/or antibiotics. None required revision surgery for tissue overgrowth, and there were no implant failures.
Our results suggest this to be a simple and effective insertion technique with favourable cosmesis and patient satisfaction.
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