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Bone anchored hearing aids in children

McDermott, Ann-Louisea; Sheehan, Patrickb

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: December 2009 - Volume 17 - Issue 6 - p 488–493
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32833237d7
Pediatric otolaryngology: Edited by Lisa Buckmiller

Purpose of review Bone anchored hearing aids are an acceptable and now widely available form of aural rehabilitation for both adults and children. Their benefit from both audiological and quality of life perspectives has been very successful to date. The paediatric population presents a variety of challenges to those clinicians who undertake bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) surgery: medical conditions, anatomical considerations and higher risk of trauma to both abutment and sound processor are just a few common problems. This review aims to highlight the important issues that surround the provision of a BAHA service for children.

Recent findings Over the past 18 months there has been an increase in the number of centres worldwide providing a BAHA service for children. The indications for BAHA in children have evolved. The outcomes and quality of life have proved to be very successful. The surgical techniques are now quite varied and the timing of surgery varies between surgeons. Serious complications are fortunately very rare.

Summary The bone anchored hearing aid in children is an effective means of aural rehabilitation that has been shown to improve the overall quality of life of the child. Although, it is a ‘well tolerated’ and relatively ‘simple’ procedure it is not without risk. A multidisciplinary team approach combined with careful patient selection and an understanding of the problems that present in children should result in a successful outcome for the child.

aThe Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK

bThe Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK

Correspondence to Miss Ann-Louise McDermott, Department of Otolaryngology, The Birmingham Children's Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6NH, UK Tel: +44 121 333 8123; fax: +44 121 333 8121; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.