For the First Time in Spartanburg, Surgery to Restore Hearing
By Dr. Erik Steiniger, Spartanburg & Greer ENT
Hearing difficulty comes in many varieties. For many people, hearing loss due to age and/or noise exposure is most adequately treated with a hearing aid. In recent years, an implantable device called the BahaŽ (a bone conduction implant) has become available for use in patients with very specific types of hearing loss including single-sided deafness, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.
Single-sided deafness is a condition where a patient completely loses hearing in one ear. This may occur due to a variety of reasons. The BAHA can be implanted on the deaf side. Sound will then be transmitted directly through the bones of the skull to the good ear on the opposite side, without the need for wires or ear molds. This device helps patients to hear sounds coming from the deaf side without having to turn their heads. In some cases, it greatly improves their ability to hear in noisy situations.
Patients with conductive or mixed hearing losses have a type of hearing deficit in which they are unable to take full advantage of the inner ears' ability to perceive sound. Due to an anatomic disruption of the normal hearing pathway, sound is not adequately "conducted" from the outside environment to the cochlea (inner ear). The BAHA bypasses the normal hearing pathway, sending sound vibrations directly to the inner ear using the bones of the skull.
Another condition that may be treated with the BAHA is a patient who has chronic infections of the ear canal (swimmer's ear). Such patients often cannot wear a standard hearing aid as it worsens the infection. Ear malformations that occur at birth (congenital aural atresia) may also benefit from BAHA placement.
Surgery is performed to implant a titanium fixture in the area just behind the ear. This is an outpatient procedure that takes an hour or less. The implanted titanium prosthesis must heal over a period of 3 months to allow bony ingrowth and integration of the prosthesis with the surrounding bone. Once healed, the device may be attached and removed as needed for regular use. In September 2011, this procedure was performed for the first time in Spartanburg by Dr. Erik Steiniger. Since then, several patients have been implanted with great success.
If you need more information or would like to make an appointment:
North Grove Medical Park: 1330 Boiling Springs Rd #1400, Spartanburg, SC 29303, 864.582.2900
Village at Pelham Medical Office: 2755 S. Highway 14 Suite 2400, Greer, SC 29650, 864.699.6970
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