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Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids: Incidence and Management of Postoperative Complications

House, John W.; Kutz, Joe Walter Jr.

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e31802c74c4
Prosthetic Devices
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Objectives: To determine the incidence of complications associated with implantation of the bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) and the management of these complications.

Study Design: Retrospective case review.

Setting: Tertiary referral center.

Patients: One hundred forty-nine consecutive patients between October 25, 2001, and June 29, 2005, underwent implantation of a BAHA. The majority of patients had unilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss after removal of an acoustic neuroma or skull base tumor (59.1%) with the next most common etiology of deafness secondary to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (16.1%).

Intervention(s): Implantation of a BAHA.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Incidence of complications occurring after implantation of a BAHA.

Results: There were no intraoperative or perioperative complications. Significant postoperative complications requiring intervention occurred in 19 (12.8%) patients. Skin overgrowing the abutment occurred in 11 (7.4%) patients, and 10 of these patients required revision in the operating room. Skin overgrowth was a late complication, occurring an average of 12 months after the initial procedure. Implant extrusion occurred in 5 (3.4%) patients, with 3 requiring revision surgery. Two patients elected not to have the device reimplanted. Two patients had local wound infections requiring oral antibiotics.

Conclusion: Significant complications are uncommon after implantation of a BAHA; however, these complications may require local wound care, antibiotics, or revision surgery.

House Clinic, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to John W. House, MD, 2100 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057; E-mail: JHouse@hei.org

Presented at the American Otological Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, May 21, 2006.

© 2007 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.