The usefulness of the bone-anchored hearing aid
) for conductive and mixed hearing losses and recently for single-sided deafness
has been well documented. Less clear is the number of patients who might benefit from the BAHA
and how many would be interested in having the surgery. The purpose of this investigation is to examine these latter issues from the perspective of an otology practice.
Private otology practice.
Approximately 44,000 patient records were reviewed. On the basis of this review, 617 patients were sent a letter describing the BAHA
and explaining that they might be candidates. One hundred sixty-two of these patients made an appointment to be evaluated for the BAHA
Patients who responded to the BAHA
letter underwent an otologic and audiological evaluation to confirm their candidacy. The BAHA
surgery and device were described, and interested patients tried the BAHA
test band in the office. Patient responses to the BAHA
Approximately 1.4% of the cases reviewed (617/44,000) were considered to be potential BAHA
candidates. One hundred forty-six of the 162 patients who scheduled a BAHA
evaluation were confirmed to be candidates. After seeing and learning about the BAHA
, 92% of the verified candidates wanted to try the BAHA
test band. Most patients who tried the test band (92%) liked the BAHA
, and nearly a third (30.6%) had BAHA
surgery. Patients with conductive or mixed hearing loss
who tried the test band were more likely to have BAHA
surgery than those with single-sided deafness
(45.8% versus 27.3%). The major limiting factor was infrequent or inadequate insurance coverage for the procedure or device.
Although the percentage of patients in an otology practice who could benefit from the BAHA
is small, finding and alerting potential BAHA
candidates are worthwhile.