Author Topic: Help - Is BAHA right for me?  (Read 9837 times)

AmandaRhoads

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Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:19:34 pm »
Hello Everyone! I just have a couple of questions for people who have the Baha Device.  ??? I have recently been seeing a specialist regarding my right ear being deaf. This is something I have been used to my whole life... so its not a sudden loss. I was told a hearing aid would never help, but the Baha would be able to. My question would be, do you think it will actually be beneficial for someone who is used to being dear, or would it be overwhelming and strange? Do you think I will actually notice a big enough difference to be happy with it? I know you would not be able to tell me exact yes / no answers, but I am hoping to find others that have been deaf for most of their life, who are very happy they decided to go through with the operation. Please, any comments will be beneficial, good or bad  :)  I am looking for the truth  :P
Also, being a young woman, I do have long hair that could cover the device. Will I constantly have to shave an area around the Baha for good... or is this only for the surgery? Thanks so much!
Don't pray for an easier life. Pray for a Stronger you.

hjb4971

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:39:26 pm »
I had the same questions as you and did a lot of research, and went back to the specialist three times to test the BAHA demonstrators and discuss the surgery. The demo unit worked pretty well so we tentatively agreed to have the surgery and to use a baha unit.  I picked the Oticon Ponto because it is less conspicious and actually provided more volume.  However I continued to have concerns about a big shaved area and big incision so we went back to the doctor again yesterday.

On wednesday my doctor showed me surgery pictures about how they do the surgery today and the process is much better than what I had seen on the net, with a smaller shaved spot, and much smaller incision.....they no longer lift up the big square of skin, but rather make a small incision then insert the abutment through the slit.........MUCH LESS INVASIVE.  I met a woman at the Doctor's office who had been using the unit for 3 years.  She had neither had big scar nor big shaved spot and was easily able to hide the unit, which made me feel much better as it is harder to hide these for a guy.    These factors made up my mind to go forward with the surgery two weeks from now....Memorial Day weekend.   I'll be sure to give you-all an update after that, but the people I met made me feel so much better.

HJB
SSD left side since February 2010. Baha surgery May, fitted with Ponto July.

leapyrtwins

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 05:56:41 am »
Hi, Amanda -

lots of people get a BAHA after years of being deaf.  Lots of people also get a BAHA because they are SSD from other reasons than an Acoustic Neuroma.

There is a great forum - part of the Cochlear website (www.cochlearcommunity.com) that you'll find very helpful.  Registration is free.  It's full of BAHA recipients (and those considering the BAHA) as well as Cochlear Implant patients and candidates.  Registration is free and you'll find lots of people who absolutely love their BAHA - like I do.

If you do get a BAHA, you don't have to shave your hair - ever.  The doc will shave a small amount when he/she does the surgery and also remove the hair follicles in that area so then hair doesn't grow again.  The patch of skin left behind is extremely small and is covered by the BAHA device. 

HJB -

I demo'd the Oticon Ponto Pro as well as the Cochlear BP100 before upgrading from my Cochlear Divino about 2 months ago.  The Ponto Pro is not less conspicious than the BP100 - just a different shape.  Plus the BP100 comes in more colors than the Ponto Pro which makes it easier to "hide" when it's on your head with your hair around it.  The two devices have the same volume - one is not greater than the other.  However, the BP100 actually has a better sound quality and it's smoother sound that you hear.

While I liked the Ponto Pro, the BP100 has 2 more channels (12 compared to 10) which allow the user to get better hearing in crowded and noisy environments.  Cochlear has also been making BAHA system devices for many, many years while Oticon just entered the BAHA market with their Ponto Pro (first device) back in October.

When I got my BP100 I was told by my audiologist that of all their BAHA patients - new and those upgrading - not one chose the Ponto Pro; they all chose the BP100.  I'm not knocking your choice, just want you to be informed. 

BAHA devices aren't cheap - make sure you know what you are getting.

Best,

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

hjb4971

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2010, 12:57:30 am »
No offense, but I completely disagree and wonder why you are pushing the Cochlear so hard.  My doctor says that the MAJORITY of his patients are picking the Ponto because it sounds better. He also is seeing his renewal patients (3 year users) switching to the Ponto.  It comes in same number of colors and because of its shape is easier to conceal, so mine is totally hidden. I'd be careful to not push people to one brand or another if I were you.  Though I chose a Ponto I tell people it is a personal choice and each brand has certain features to consider. Unless and until I get paid to promote a specific brand, I consider them equal and a personal choice.  I just chose a Ponto.   

As a user I believe I could provide advice to both manufacturers on how they could improve. The issue here is to not discourage people with SSD from having baha surgery, and I will tell you flat out that the Cochlear video on-line just about convinced me NOT to go forward, which would have been a serious mistake.  As a marketing professional I could teach them a lot about improving and about promoting their product and one of the first steps would be to replace that awful video and out-of-date photos with more current ones that show the surgery today is not very invasive. I also wonder if they believe in "voice of the customer marketing methodology?"

So to potential users I say ....the two brands are both good, you have to choose what makes the most sense for you. I made my choice, study the two brands and make yours.
SSD left side since February 2010. Baha surgery May, fitted with Ponto July.

leapyrtwins

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 10:25:43 am »
I am not "pushing" anything - and I take offense at the suggestion that I am.  I am one of the first to say that the BAHA isn't for everyone, that there are other choices available.  Some with SSD chose the TransEar, some are looking into the Sound Byte, some choose to just adapt - and those are all personal choices.

However, I love my BAHA, I've had excellent results with my Cochlear processors (I own a Divino and a BP100), and I've had nothing but stellar customer service from Cochlear as a company.  I've worn my Cochlear BAHAs for about 27 months now and I couldn't be happier with my choice.  I think the BAHA implant is the best thing I've done to address my SSD - something that highly depressed me when I was just ignoring it and trying to adapt to it.  I can't and won't apologize if my enthusiam over something I feel has been life changing for me, hits you the wrong way.

Yes, I am a Cochlear volunteer - and I'm proud of it.  I do not get paid by Cochlear to promote their brand nor do they pay me for anything else - and I am offended by your suggestion.

Cochlear stands behind their products - BAHAs as well as CIs (and I know several people who wear CIs).  I have yet to personally meet anyone who has had a problem with Cochlear as a company.  Have they had issues with their new processor (BP100)?  Yes, they have - but only because it is more programmable than their other BAHA processors.  But in all fairness, they stand behind their processors and it's not unheard of for them to give wearers a brand new processor if they can't fix their "old" one to their satisfaction.

My statement in my prior post that none of my doctor's BAHA patients have chosen the Ponto Pro over the BP100 still stands, 4 months later.  Your doctor may see a different trend in his BAHA patients, and I understand that.

I just read one of your posts on another thread and it didn't sound like you are happy at all with your Ponto.  But maybe I misinterpreted that.  

Have a great day!!  ;D

Jan
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 10:33:41 am by leapyrtwins »
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

hjb4971

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 12:31:38 pm »
First, I tried both the Ponto and the BP100 and got MUCH BETTER results with the Ponto. I also liked its shape and size better than the square box of the BP100.  Apparently others agreed as the week of my surgery my doctor (in Detroit) did numerous Pontos and not one BP100. 

However I've never said my brand is better, only MY PREFERENCE. I specifically counsel others to try and evaluate both manufacturers. I think the issue here is being OBJECTIVE and helping each other find solutions that enhance our lives, not helping manufacturers sell their wares. I know how to do that quite well, it is my profession, but this is a users group intended to help people. As I said if either manufacturer wants to listen to user comments for improvement I could provide a number.

Yes you do misunderstand my feelings about my Ponto.  Just because I want more and better performance from a product doesn't mean I don't like it,  rather I just want it to better serve my needs.    I love my Corvette and would buy another tomorrow, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried to improve it or customize it to better serve my needs. I changed wheels, tires, exhaust, airfilter, and several interior parts to make it more the way I want it to be.  Likewise,  I am THRILLED to have my Ponto, which as you mentioned is changing my life for the better, which I tell people daily.

However, I want to do the same performance tweaking with my Ponto as my car. In my case I still don't know how close to my original hearing I can get with a baha unit, (nobody has told me what I can expect) so I want to tweak it to get more volume if posible, until the audiologist says that I've reached the limits.  I've noticed that everyday it seems to work a bit better as I crank up the volume.....I assume that is because it does "learn" my setting needs.  Having only had this unit 30 days, I do not know how much of my hearing performance can be restored yet, but won't stop trying until I achieve the best I can.  After all that's why I had the surgery and spent the money for a baha unit, because I was unhappy with my lack of hearing once I became SSD. I know many others who feel the same way.

Sorry you resent my suggestion for objectivity, but that's what user sites are supposed to maintain, objectivity.  Manufacturer's websites are by their nature preferential, that is their objective...to sell something, but not user sites. All I ask is for you to be objective, and not to demean my choice. I sure didn't attack you for preferring the BP100 as you have me and I would not push one brand. Read your comments to me again, you clearly chastized me for choosing the Ponto and tried to tell me why. Sorry but I disagree.  I admire Cochlear for what they have done, but believe two brands offer more choice, and I will be happier when there are 4-5 brands as competition pushes all of them to be better.


.       
SSD left side since February 2010. Baha surgery May, fitted with Ponto July.

hjb4971

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 12:43:33 pm »
Here is the surgery video produced at Hartford Hospital in conjunction with Cochlear. It is HORRIBLE, and were I them, I'd take it off the web as it discourages potential baha patients.  This amost stopped me from having the surgery.  Bt the way all I had to do to find it wa type in baha surgery into the google searcer, so I'm quite suprised you have never seen this. 

http://www.orlive.com/hartfordhospital/videos/baha-bone-anchored-hearing-treatment-procedure2?cmpid=active_redirect
SSD left side since February 2010. Baha surgery May, fitted with Ponto July.

Kencutus

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 12:57:05 pm »
Here is the surgery video produced at Hartford Hospital in conjunction with Cochlear. It is HORRIBLE, and were I them, I'd take it off the web as it discourages potential baha patients.  This amost stopped me from having the surgery.  Bt the way all I had to do to find it wa type in baha surgery into the google searcer, so I'm quite suprised you have never seen this.  

http://www.orlive.com/hartfordhospital/videos/baha-bone-anchored-hearing-treatment-procedure2?cmpid=active_redirect

I don't see what's wrong with the surgery video.  I don't think it discourage people from having the surgery.  It sounds like you don't have the stomach for it.  It's up to the individual  person if they want to see it or not, it's their choice.   What's the differences if you are out (if done under general) while they work on you?  

On the other note;  I'm with Jan and I'm also a Cochlear Volunteer and very proud to wear my Bahas.  
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 12:58:38 pm by Kencutus »
"Hearing Resistance is Futile!"
Treacher Collin's Syndrome
First surgery left side 12-08, Baha Intenso 3-09
Abbutment came loose on 5-09
Bilateral Baha surgery 6-09 Baha refitted 9-09
Richard & Mark Wiet MD from Ear Institute of Chicago.

Kaybo

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 08:40:36 pm »
I am reading this with great interest since I am seriously considering a BAHA. While I am glad to hear about both brands & I will willingly admit to being a friend of Jan's, I have gone back  read and reread this thread & don't understand where it went south. It seems like that both of you gave your opinions (which I am thankful for), but really, Jan was very positive about BOTH devices and then just stated her preference.  HJB, seems like you jumped the gun a bit in your assumptions...

K
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ppearl214

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2010, 05:15:27 am »
Hi all..... as we know, we are all entitled to our difference of opinions and ask that everyone remember that "we can agree to disagree" in a respectful manner.  As noted by others, people chose what they feel is best for them  and their particular situations (ie: $, fit, technology, recommendations/references, etc).......and thus, when sharing insight and opinion, ask that everyone do so in a respectful manner.  Those that don't will have their posts go *poof*.  Will continue to watch this thread to make sure everyone plays nicely.  I hate using my whip so early on a Sunday morning. Thanks. Phyl
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Paul F

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2010, 10:57:25 am »
Well said Phyl, I think you stepped in at the right time.  It is nice to have a moderator who stays on top of things.

Thank you for what you do.

Paul

tenai98

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2010, 05:53:39 pm »
wow that was awesome the film clip...I enjoyed viewing it and now know what transpired in OR...
I love my BAHA
Jo
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leapyrtwins

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 09:00:30 pm »
Jo -

I'm with you; the video clip is kind of cool.  I think someone else posted it on the Forum, because I've seen it before, but I just watched it again.

It was nice to see what was actually done to me during the implant surgery, because while I was wide awake (had local anesthesia) I didn't really ask the doc to do a play by play.  He told me when he was going to drill and that I would feel pressure, but the rest of our conversation was pretty general.  A lot of my time was spent talking to the nurse at the end of my tunnel of drapes. 

I know others have posted links of AN surgery on this Forum and I've tried to watch those, but always ended up covering my eyes and peeking out between my fingers  :o

Some things I just don't want to know about - even if they were done to me.  Thank God docs use general anesthesia for AN surgery!

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

james e

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2010, 09:54:01 pm »
I have a BAHA. The post was implanted using just a slit rather than a peeled back area like in that surgery. The area around the post that is  bald is the same size of my processor. My hair is short, like in military short, and you cannot see any skin. The sound is a supplement to what I hear in my good ear, and I like what I hear. What I heard when I tried the slip-on BAHA before the surgery, was not very similar to what I hear now. I don't know if any one really knows what it will sound like until you really get it turned on.

leapyrtwins

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Re: Help - Is BAHA right for me?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 10:07:55 pm »
James -

from what I recall you had your BAHA implant at the same time as your AN surgery, correct?

I wonder if that had anything to do with the way your post was implanted (slit vs peeling back of skin).

I had my implant done nine months after my AN surgery (retrosigmoid approach); maybe that had something to do with why my skin was peeled back - but I'm not sure.  It might just be that your doc and my doc do the implant a little differently - just like different docs do different things during AN surgery.

I'll have to ask my doc next time I see him.

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways