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First Report: Linear Incision for Placement of a Magnetically Coupled Bone-Anchored Hearing Implant

Barry, Jonnae Y.; Reghunathan, Saranya; Jacob, Abraham

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000001290
Prosthetic Devices

Objectives: Discuss use of a linear incision for placement of a magnetically coupled bone anchored hearing implant.

Methods: Case series.

Results: Two patients underwent placement of magnetically coupled bone-anchored hearing implants (BAHI) through linear incisions. The first, a 40-year-old female with congenital single-sided deafness, previously had successful implantation of a percutaneous bone anchored hearing implant through a linear incision; unfortunately, she developed pain and intermittent drainage at her abutment site with time, resulting in a request for removal of her device. As an alternative to complete removal, we offered to replace the percutaneous implant with a magnetically coupled BAHI, employing the same linear incision previously. The second patient, a 53-year-old obese female with limited neck mobility and mixed hearing loss, underwent primary placement of a magnetically coupled BAHI through a linear incision. Limitations in neck mobility and patient body habitus precluded use of a traditional C-shaped incision. Both patients underwent surgery successfully, healed without incident, had their devices activated 6 weeks after their procedures, and are able to wear their implants more than 8 hours per day without discomfort.

Conclusion: Surgical techniques for bone-anchored implants continue to evolve. Though manufacturers of magnetically coupled devices recommend using C-shaped incisions with large skin flaps, our first reported cases suggest that a small linear incision immediately overlying the implant magnet may be an acceptable alternative. Potential benefits include a smaller incision, less hair removal, smaller flap, decreased surgical time, and less postoperative pain.

Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jonnae Y. Barry, M.D., Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, PO Box 245074, Tucson, AZ 85724; E-mail:

The abstract and manuscript for this submission are not under consideration for oral or poster presentations.

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

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