BAHA hearing system: Detachable and invisible
The fully anchored magnetic implant transmits the sounds transmitted by the external sound processor directly to the inner ear via the titanium-alloyed screw pin and bypasses the damaged areas in the outer and middle ear area. BAHA system carriers remain completely flexible, as the magnetically linked sound processor can be attached or removed as required. If the sound receiver is not worn - the size of a hands-free mobile phone headset - the rest of the device's components are completely invisible.
This factor is, according to the developers, an important advance of the BAHA system, because due to the magnetically coupled receiver system protrude - unlike older systems - no mechanical Anschraub- or Ansteckteile out of the skin. This in turn means a more discrete wearer feel and a lower risk of injury and infection at the puncture site in the skin.
Clinical tests have shown that the ear implant allows reliable hearing and understanding even in difficult soundscapes in the case of hearing damage in the outer and middle ear area. In addition, it should be possible in future to network the wireless device with additional functions - for example, to be able to make calls wirelessly using a special "telephone clip".
Nevertheless, the BAHA system is not suitable for any form of hearing damage. Only patients with injuries in the outer and middle ear area - e.g. due to inflammation or previous surgery - can be treated with the new technique, since the sound waves are only diverted with the BAHA system and the inner ear remains an important part of the sound recording.
In order to tap the BAHA system into the skull and to implant the round, internal magnetic plates under the skin, only a small intervention is required. Under general anesthesia, the skin is opened behind the damaged ear on an area of about five centimeters. The titanium-alloyed screw drills a surgeon one centimeter deep into the skull and connects the posterior pin area to the internal magnetic plate. Then the skin is re-sewn.
Overall, the procedure takes 40 minutes - the wounds are healed after two to four weeks. After that - as the doctors describe it - the patient gets his wireless sound processor and can hear it completely again.