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

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Abstract

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.

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