What is Bonebridge ear implant?
Bonebridge is a new type of bone conduction implant, which lies completely under the intact skin. It allows sound to be directly transmitted to the inner ear by means of bone conduction. Bone conduction plays a significant role for people, in whom sound cannot be transferred to the inner ear via the natural path through the outer and the middle ear. Therefore the sound is transmitted via the skull bones to the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve.
Bonebridge is a bone conduction implant system, consisting of an external audio processor, worn behind the ear and an implant, positioned surgically under the skin.
The audio processor is kept in position directly above the implant by means of magnetic attraction and can therefore be worn under the hair.
How does Bonebridge ear implant work?
Sound waves are recorded by the microphones of the audio processor, which converts the sound into electrical signals. These electrical signals are transferred through the intact skin to the implant.
The electrical signals are converted into mechanical vibrations by the implant and transmitted to the bone. The bone then conducts the vibrations directly to the inner ear, which is embedded in bone.
In the inner ear, the mechanical vibrations are converted into nerve signals and transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve and perceived as sound.
Bonebridge can be an appropriate solution for adults suffering from conductive and mixed hearing loss and for single sided deafness. A detailed audiological assessment is necessary to determine if this is a suitable treatment.
What are the benefits of a Bonebridge ear implant?
Bonebridge is an intact skin implant. Experience with other hearing implants shows that these kinds of intact skin implants are associated with an extremely low rate of skin complications.
Bonebridge surgery is a quick, simple procedure, usually taking less than an hour and a half. All replaceable parts of the Bonebridge system are located in the external processor. This operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic.
How safe is the treatment?
This is generally a safe procedure that is undertaken as a day case procedure. The risks are similar to those of mastoid surgery, which has a low rate of serious complications. Your Consultant Surgeon will discuss the risks with you in full before the procedure.