Author Topic: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner  (Read 4921 times)

leapyrtwins

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BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« on: August 23, 2010, 09:15:07 pm »
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. 

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

Kencutus

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 10:02:22 pm »
It's kinda interesting.  Too bad, you won't be able to make the switch between the company after the new abutment.  I bet it's all due to marketing reasons and commitment.  Thanks for the heads up! 
"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.

saralynn143

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 11:41:46 am »
Jan, do you know whether the snap-coupling processors will be backward compatible with the older style abutments?

Sara
MVD for hemifacial spasm 6/2/08
left side facial paresis
 12/100 facial function - 7/29/08
 46 - 11/25/08
 53 - 05/12/09
left side SSD approx. 4 weeks
 low-frequency hearing loss; 85% speech recognition 7/28/08
1.8 gram thin profile platinum eyelid weight 8/12/08
Fitted for scleral lens 5/9/13

leapyrtwins

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 03:26:42 pm »
That I don't know.

But I do know that typically changing abutments is a simple, in-office procedure - doc just uses a screw driver and switches them.

Will try to pose that question to my doc or audiologist next time I contact either of them.

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

saralynn143

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 04:48:05 pm »
I remember you mentioning that before (maybe my 21-bit screwdriver will come in handy after all!). So I wonder whether a patient would still be able to switch between companies by changing abutments, just not as easily as snapping the processor on the same abutment.

Although I understand the business reasons behind moving toward proprietary abutments, I think it is too bad for patients that it either won't be possible or as easy to switch from one to another.

Sara
MVD for hemifacial spasm 6/2/08
left side facial paresis
 12/100 facial function - 7/29/08
 46 - 11/25/08
 53 - 05/12/09
left side SSD approx. 4 weeks
 low-frequency hearing loss; 85% speech recognition 7/28/08
1.8 gram thin profile platinum eyelid weight 8/12/08
Fitted for scleral lens 5/9/13

Kencutus

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 05:27:37 pm »
I remember you mentioning that before (maybe my 21-bit screwdriver will come in handy after all!). So I wonder whether a patient would still be able to switch between companies by changing abutments, just not as easily as snapping the processor on the same abutment.

Although I understand the business reasons behind moving toward proprietary abutments, I think it is too bad for patients that it either won't be possible or as easy to switch from one to another.

Sara

Like I said above, "Marketing Reasons."  It's about making money for the company and the doctor office.  Only the doctor is able to change the abutment which it means you or the insurance has to pay for it.  It's not like when a patient walks into a hearing aid place to purchase a hearing aid and be done with it.  I have a feeling it's a battle between Cochlear and Oticon.
"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.

saralynn143

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 05:34:55 pm »
I wonder if the snap-coupling would be beneficial in a situation like Vonda's where her processor keeps falling off?

Sara
MVD for hemifacial spasm 6/2/08
left side facial paresis
 12/100 facial function - 7/29/08
 46 - 11/25/08
 53 - 05/12/09
left side SSD approx. 4 weeks
 low-frequency hearing loss; 85% speech recognition 7/28/08
1.8 gram thin profile platinum eyelid weight 8/12/08
Fitted for scleral lens 5/9/13

leapyrtwins

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 08:06:10 pm »
I'm not sure Vonda's processor keeps falling off.  It sounds more like she keeps knocking it off.  There's a difference.

Cochlear is definitely making the changes to the implant "equipment" for a reason.  They used to be the only company that made BAHA systems, now they have competition in the form of Oticon.

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

saralynn143

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2010, 06:31:37 am »
The point I was trying to make is that current BAHA processors come off the abutment more easily during normal day-to-day activities than some users would like. I am hoping for their sake that the snap-coupling processor will be beneficial to them. That would be a benefit to the change.

Quicker osseointegration (great vocab word) being another huge benefit. Who wouldn't want to wear their processor two months earlier?

Sara
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 08:41:29 am by saralynn143 »
MVD for hemifacial spasm 6/2/08
left side facial paresis
 12/100 facial function - 7/29/08
 46 - 11/25/08
 53 - 05/12/09
left side SSD approx. 4 weeks
 low-frequency hearing loss; 85% speech recognition 7/28/08
1.8 gram thin profile platinum eyelid weight 8/12/08
Fitted for scleral lens 5/9/13

leapyrtwins

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 12:39:15 pm »
The point I was trying to make is that current BAHA processors come off the abutment more easily during normal day-to-day

Not necessarily true.

I've worn a BAHA for 2+ years and mine's only been knocked off twice - once by my son's arm when he was acting wild in a restaurant.  The other time was my own "stupidity".  I got too close to the door frame of my van when I was rushing to get into it  ::)

BTW, I posed the "what does this change mean to "old" BAHA wearers" question to my audiologist today.  She didn't know, but said she'd find out and let me know.  In the meantime, I'm schedule to see my doc next week, so I can always ask him.

You've got me curious, now.

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

iluuvpups

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 01:00:13 pm »
Thanks for the information, Jan.

I'm really bothered that this new technique will not allow users to switch between Oticon and Cochlear. I haven't had my Baha surgery yet, but I told the doctor I'd go with the Oticon.  When I had a little demo (a few minutes each with a handband on with each one) in the audiologist's office, I didn't notice a difference between the two in how they sounded.  So I made my decision based on what I was told that I'd have to do to maintain them.  With the Cochlear, you have to pull the battery out of it every night.  With the Oticon, you can just open the battery door.  Perhaps I need to spend more time with the devices because others seem to have found a difference in how they sound?  --Carol Ann
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 02:04:19 pm by iluuvpups »
Original 1.75cm left-side AN diagnosed Feb 2010
Translab surgery May 27, 2010 with Drs. Kartush and Pieper of MEI
SSD on left side, some facial weakness, tear duct doesn't work
Found I actually had a facial neuroma during translab
Remaining 6mm facial neuroma - watch and wait

saralynn143

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 01:43:35 pm »
Read just a bit farther in my post, Jan, "than some users would like."

Given their reputation for customer service, it seems likely that Cochlear would surely provide for current users via some sort of adapter that can be screwed onto an existing implant even if the new abutments are truly proprietary.

There might also be the possibility of adapters or other workarounds in the future too.

Sara
MVD for hemifacial spasm 6/2/08
left side facial paresis
 12/100 facial function - 7/29/08
 46 - 11/25/08
 53 - 05/12/09
left side SSD approx. 4 weeks
 low-frequency hearing loss; 85% speech recognition 7/28/08
1.8 gram thin profile platinum eyelid weight 8/12/08
Fitted for scleral lens 5/9/13

leapyrtwins

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 06:32:11 pm »
Sara -

sorry, I missed that key word (some).  Just wanted to reinforce that knocking the processor off the head isn't a problem for most users. 

I agree with you.  I think Cochlear will do something to accomodate "old" BAHA wearers and help them continue to be customers with the ability to upgrade to new Cochlear processors as time goes on.  They'd be foolish not to; they'd lose a huge client base.  When they bought out Entific, Cochlear changed abutments but there was a solution for Entific customers.  I don't think that I - or any other Cochlear customers - will be left in the lurch.

I also wouldn't be too surprised is Cochlear came up with some kind of "conversion" for those who currently wear the Oticon devices (Ponto and Ponto Pro).  It would be a great way to capture some of the business they may have lost, and in addition, "lock" someone into the line of Cochlear processors.

Carol Ann -

I demo'd both the Cochlear BP100 and the Oticon Ponto Pro extensively before deciding to upgrade my Cochlear Divino to the Cochlear BP100.  My review is somewhere on this Forum in the hearing category.

Anyway, I found the devices to be very similar, but I went with Cochlear with several reasons - the two biggest were Cochlear's reputation for stellar customer support and the fact that the BP100 has 12 channels (opposed to the Ponto Pro that has 10).  Although my audiologist told me that 12 channels aren't much better than 10, I figured for the price I'd rather have more channels; especially since channels are what determine the amount of noise reduction you can achieve. 
 
Removing the battery from the BP100 each night isn't a big issue - it saves on battery power and it also allows any moisture inside the unit to dry out, which prolongs the life of the processor.  Most audiologists - and just about every Cochlear rep - will tell you to remove the battery from your processor each night.  This same group will also  tell you to put the processor in some type of drying unit (jar of drying beads or a hearing aid "dehumidifier" box).  I'm actually surprised that Oticon doesn't tell their customers to do this.

No matter which BAHA processor you choose, you should protect your investment.

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

leapyrtwins

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Re: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 09:03:12 am »
Sara -

have any answer to your question (re - "old" BAHA wearers).   

You'll find it here: http://anausa.org/forum/index.php?topic=13182.0

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: BAHA Gotcha Days to be that much sooner
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 09:45:51 am »
I was fitted with my Otticon PONTO only 60 days after surgery and had no problems.  My guess is that as the surgery style continues to improve the wait time will continue to go down.  Ponto abutments will accept BP units as well, and if Cochlear is changing theirs I suspect it is because they don't want users to be able to switch to Pontos later.    I like how my unit works, how easily it is concealed due to shape and color, don't need drying beads or need to take my battery out of my unit at night, I just open it.

I had another program added to my unit yesterday and find that the other two are not needed, this one is great....50% more volume with no feeback. I reccommend this unit to anyone, but would NEVER tell them not to consider the other brand.  Personally  I feel WE should have the choice of being able to switch back and forth as technology improves.

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