BAHA, or bone conduction osteointegrated implant, represents a significant advancement in surgical hearing restoration.
The actual implanted portion of this device is a titanium fixture which requires surgical placement in the bone behind the affected ear. After surgery the implanted portion or abutment becomes osteo-integrated to the bone of the skull due to the special properties of titanium that allow actual bone ingrowth into the metal. Once osteointegration is completed over a period of 8-12 weeks an external detachable processor is fitted to the abutment.
The sound processor (1) vibrates with sound, transmitting these sound vibrations through the titanium abutment and implant (2) then through the bone and directly into the inner ear (3), bypassing the ear drum and bones of hearing. This direct transmission of sound brings a strong signal to the hearing nerve of the inner ear and results in marked hearing improvement.
The BAHA device was developed over 25 years ago by Dr. Tjellstrom of Sweden and approved for use in the United States approximately 10 years ago for conductive hearing loss. More recently the BAHA device has also been approved for those patients with profound nerve loss in one ear. Thousands of successful long term users of the device are enthusiastic about their improved BAHA.
The BAHA results in very marked improvement in communication ability in those with chronically draining ears, open mastoid cavities, perforations, or acquired or congenital closure of the ear canal(s) in those cases where use of conventional hearing aids or reconstructive surgery would be unsatisfactory.
Most patients find BAHA to provide a high quality sound reproducibility and a great deal of satisfaction for the patient.
BAHA is also available for cases where sudden or gradual nerve loss in one ear results in unilateral (single-sided) deafness. In these cases, sound signals are routed by way of the implant through the skull to the opposite ear. Studies have confirmed the benefit of BAHA in these patients as well.
For more information, please visit this page from the Cochlear Corporation.