To report on preoperative assessment, surgery, and audiologic outcome of the first patient implanted with the bone conduction implant (BCI).
The BCI is a bone conduction hearing device with an intact skin solution where the transducer is implanted close to the ear canal opening. By avoiding a percutaneous screw attachment to the skull, the BCI is anticipated to reduce complications associated with the Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) solution.
The first patient to receive a BCI was a 42-year-old woman with a unilateral mixed hearing loss due to tympanosclerosis. Preoperative and postoperative cone beam computed tomography and a virtual planning tool for 3D reconstruction were used to optimize and control the position of the BCI in the mastoid. The transducer was placed in a 5-mm deep seating in the mastoid and secured with a titanium bar. Free field tone and speech audiometry were conducted to evaluate the audiologic outcome at baseline (1 month postoperatively) and 1 month after baseline.
The BCI was placed in the position according to the preoperative 3D planning. On average, the tone thresholds improved by 30 dB, speech reception thresholds by 25.5 dB and speech signal-to-noise ratio by 9.7 dB. The surgical procedure was considered simple and safe.
The BCI can be implanted by a safe and easy surgical procedure. 3D preoperative planning can be helpful to optimize the BCI position. The BCI is a realistic alternative to the BAHA.