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To investigate the surgical and audiological outcomes of the Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction hearing implant among children with congenital aural atresia.
Six children were recruited and underwent Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery. The patients’ audiometric thresholds for air conduction, bone conduction and sound-field tests were assessed pre-operatively and at six months post-operatively. Patients’ satisfaction was assessed at six months post-operatively with the Hearing Device Satisfaction Scale.
No major complications were reported. Mean aided sound-field thresholds improved post-operatively by more than 30 dB for 0.5–4 kHz (p < 0.05). Mean unaided air conduction and bone conduction thresholds differed by less than 5 dB post-operatively (compared to pre-operatively) for 0.5–4 kHz; these findings were not significant (p > 0.05). All patients were satisfied (scores were over 90 per cent) with the implant in terms of functional outcome and cosmetic appearance.
Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery is safe and effective among children with congenital aural atresia with conductive hearing loss.
The percutaneous osseointegrated bone conduction device can be associated with more soft tissue complications when compared to the magnetic transcutaneous osseointegrated bone conduction device. This study aimed to determine whether fewer soft tissue complications may result in the transcutaneous osseointegrated bone conduction device being a lower cost option in hearing rehabilitation.
This retrospective case note review included adult patients who underwent implantation with the transcutaneous Cochlear Attract (n = 22) or percutaneous Cochlear DermaLock (n = 25) bone-anchored hearing aids between September 2013 and December 2014. The number of post-operative clinic appointments, complications and treatments undertaken, and calculated cost average, were compared between the two groups.
Although the transcutaneous device was slightly more expensive than the percutaneous device, the percutaneous device was associated with a greater number of soft tissue complications and, as a result, the percutaneous device had significantly higher follow-up costs in the first six months following surgery.
The transcutaneous osseointegrated bone conduction device may represent a more cost-effective method of hearing rehabilitation compared to the percutaneous osseointegrated bone conduction device.
Bone-anchored hearing aids improve hearing for patients for whom conventional behind-the-ear aids are problematic. However, uptake of bone-anchored hearing aids is low and it is important to understand why this is the case.
A narrative review was conducted. Studies examining why people accept or decline bone-anchored hearing aids and satisfaction levels of people with bone-anchored hearing aids were reviewed.
Reasons for declining bone-anchored hearing aids included limited perceived benefits, concerns about surgery, aesthetic concerns and treatment cost. No studies providing in-depth analysis of the reasons for declining or accepting bone-anchored hearing aids were identified. Studies of patient satisfaction showed that most participants reported benefits with bone-anchored hearing aids. However, most studies used cross-sectional and/or retrospective designs and only included people with bone-anchored hearing aids.
Important avenues for further research are in-depth qualitative research designed to fully understand the decision-making process for bone-anchored hearing aids and rigorous quantitative research comparing satisfaction of people who receive bone-anchored hearing aids with those who receive alternative (or no) treatments.
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