Just wanted to share an interesting development about BAHAs that I learned last Sunday @ the local ANA Group meeting.
The topic was the BAHA and an audiologist, Jill Brodinski, from the Ear Institute of Chicago spoke. One of the things she told us is that sometime in the near future, Cochlear will be coming out with new technology that will allow BAHA implant patients to start wearing their processors 30 days post op - rather than the 90 days they must wait now.
I didn't get a lot of specifics on this new development, other than it's mirrored off of technology used for dental implants.
However, I contacted my audiologist @ the Ear Institute of Chicago (Krystine Mullins) today and she told me the following:
"Cochlear is coming out with a new titanium screw/abutment for all those new patients who are getting BAHAs.
The new titanium screw is not going to be smooth like it was before, it is going to have more rough edges which apparently osseointegrates quicker with the bone. Therefore, patients will only have to wait 30 days instead of the 90 days before being hooked up with their devices.
In regards to the abutment part, all Cochlear BAHA processors utilize a patented internal snap coupling (i.e., the processor snaps inside the abuement). With this internal snap coupling we will be able to maintain approximately 6mm of clearance before soft tissue will come in contact with the snap coupling.
Unfortunately, now with this abutment, people will not be able to switch between the Oticon and Cochlear devices. This will have to be a decision made from the beginning and the patient will not be able to switch to another company like you were able to if you wanted to. I am not sure when this will be coming out but should be shortly (maybe by the end of the year)."
Krystine gave me permission to share this with you.