ANA Discussion Forum

General Category => Hearing Issues => Topic started by: Tim M on November 30, 2020, 04:49:51 pm

Title: BAHA Infection
Post by: Tim M on November 30, 2020, 04:49:51 pm

I had my BAHA installed at Mass Eye and Ear in 1999 and was one of the first to do so in the US as far as I know.  We did quite a lot of research then and the majority of the information came from Europe where the BAHA originated. 

Last August (2020) the area became slightly painful and the ENT Doctor who specializes in BAHA recommended a topical anti-bacterial cream, a few weeks later I was prescribed oral antibiotics.  This prescription was upgraded to a higher dosage of more potent anti biotics. The abutment and anchor eventually completely fell out. 
After multiple CT scans and MRIs and bringing in another specialist it was determined that the infection penetrated my skull tissue and dura and immediate surgery was necessary.  The healing process is lengthy and painful as a large portion of skull must be removed and anti-biotics must be injected daily. 

Needless to say; the entire process has been very trying and when factored into the overall out of pocket costs accrued since 2000 very disappointing. 

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar situation as BAHA has not bothered to reach out or reply to any of my inquiries? 

Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: leapyrtwins on February 08, 2021, 08:47:46 am
I've had my BAHA since 2008 and have only had a handful of minor infections that were successfully treated with topical OTC antibiotic ointment. 

The infection you have/had is extremely rare. 
Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: james e on March 28, 2021, 03:59:19 pm
I had my BAHA surgery in March 2010 and about 2 years ago my scalp started growing over the abutment. Doc gave me a steroid cream to apply around the abutment and the skin went back to normal. 6 months ago it started bleeding and oozing a fluid and scabbing over. Doc said I should have the abutment removed and let my scalp grow over the titanium screw in my skull.

I have an appointment March 29 with my doctor about removing it. He told me Cochlear says it should be removed in a surgical room. Not sure what will happen tomorrow but I will keep you updated. I have had a lot of swelling and mild pain from the swelling.

I had some fear it might cause an infection inside my skull. Sorry it happened to you, but after reading your post I feel better having it removed.
Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: james e on April 11, 2021, 06:20:55 pm
Doc wants to put a longer abutment in so the skin cannot grow around it OR just take the abutment out and let the skin grow over the titanium screw.

I also have an appointment to try a cros hearing aid. With my hearing loss he thinks I would have better fidelity with a cros than a BAHA.

If I get a cros I will have the abutment removed.
Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: bfoley on April 12, 2021, 04:36:05 am
Hi there james e!

I am SSD and wear a cros.  Ironically my son is a licensed HID (hearing instrument dispenser). He wants people to know they should be asking any potential hearing aid providers if they use "real ear" hearing measurements.  He says its less than 30% of providers who do this.  Real ear uses microphones placed in the ear to see how the shape of your ear changes the sounds.  It does vary from the "normal expected" results.  I can tell you from personal experience, when it is custom fit, it makes the aid that much better.  Good luck in your search!
Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: james e on April 12, 2021, 01:21:44 pm
Good info. Thank you.
Title: Re: BAHA Infection
Post by: james e on April 21, 2021, 11:06:43 am
Got tested today and the decision was to stay with the BAHA but upgrade to a BAHA 6 to deal with my hearing loss. We are not going to change my abutment to a longer one because the next longest one is 3mm longer than the one I have and the doctor thinks it will be too long.

I am on medicare and they cover BAHA but not a cross. My BAHA 5 is 6 years old and it has to be 5 years old to get a new one. It is still functional but not powerful enough for my hearing loss. The 6 should be a benefit for me.

If my skin gets irritated again I will apply the steroid cream and it will heal.

Once I get the 6 I will not need the BAHA 5. If someone needs to upgrade from a BP100, I will send you my BAHA 5 for your enjoyment. Don't know if I can do that here, but I just did.