Author Topic: SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA  (Read 3935 times)


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SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA
« on: November 06, 2013, 05:15:42 pm »
Hi Everyone,

I had my surgery on  Sept 16th and as a result lost all usable hearing from my right ear.  The audiologist I met with was very negative about the CROS and BAHA.  I think she was just trying to set expectations i.e. I will never be able to here the same way I was able to before surgery.  I understand that.  This is my new normal. 

I read lots of posts on this site and it seems that most people found the BAHA (anchor aids) useful.  Is there anyone out there that didn't have a good experience?  If so, can you have the thing removed?

For those who like the BAHA, how has your life improved? How long after surgery did you get yours put in? Anyone know about the 2014 new version?

I am 37 years old attorney. I am in noisy environments all the time and am afraid of how this will affect my work.  Anyone have any advice that can help me navigate my new normal.  I haven't returned to work just yet. 




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Re: SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 08:44:47 am »
HI Maria,

I had my surgery about 2 1/2 years ago, and am also deaf inthe right side. I honestly didnt notice too much of a difference, and it hasnt hindered my life or work too much. I actually even refused the "sample BAHA" stimulation that my doctor offered because I dont want it. I have heard great things about it though. I have a friend, that is considering it; but has yet to get it.

I did notice that over time, the SSD does become more normal, and i hardnly notice it at all anymore, except for my direction of sound, only being able to talk onthe phone on 1 side, and when I am on the phone at work, people trying to talk to me... i always have to remind them i cant hear them!
2.3cm Diagnosed 12/19/08
Gamma Knife @ UPMC Pittsburgh 1/12/09
.2mm Regrowth 6/2011
Translab 7/29/11 @ UPMC
     temporary paralysis of throat-feeding tube 8 days; SSD; facial numbness; blood clot & pnemonia developed; 11 days hospital stay.

Jim Scott

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Re: SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 09:32:10 am »
Maria ~

I've been SSD for approximately ten years.  I began losing my hearing in my left ear around 2000 and it disappeared totally by 2003.  At the time, I ignored the loss (I was 60 at the time and thought it was 'aging') and adapted.  In 2006, due to increasing, troublesome symptoms, I saw my doctor, had an MRI and a 4.5 cm AN was found.  It was debulked and radiated successfully.  I'm doing great - but remain SSD.  I never considered a BAHA (for personal reasons) but I realize that many SSD folks use and like them. 

I have adapted very well to being SSD but to be honest, it is an impediment of sorts.  I carefully position myself in group settings and always sit near the front of a room when listening to a speaker.  I avoid long telephone conversations due to only having the use of one ear but generally, talking on the phone is not a problem, whether it is my cell phone or a land line.   Noisy environments e.g. restaurants, can present a challenge.  So are people who speak very softly or do not enunciate well.  Sometimes I have to lean over a counter and ask a soft-spoken clerk to repeat something - but this is relatively infrequent.  I use 'TV Ears'® (a wireless, very light headphone system) to listen to TV which enables my wife to keep the sound at a normal level. This is a link to their website:

The fact that you work as an attorney in relatively noisy environments could be a problem - but not necessarily.  Some AN/SSD patients have successfully returned to work as school teachers and other 'noisy' professions.  You'll need to try adapting at work before making a decision, as you may be just fine.  However, if being SSD negatively affects your professional as well as your social life, a BAHA may be your best alternative.  You'll know soon enough.

4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.


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Re: SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 09:47:01 am »

I am a 55 year old lawyer.  I worked for about a year with no aid.  Then I had a Transear for about 2 years.  When my insurance changed, I was able to get a BAHA, which I have had completely installed for about 2 months.  In one-on-one settings, I functioned pretty well with nothing.  The Transear helped my word recognition in the courtroom.  The BAHA has substantially improved sound clarity.  At your age, I would encourage you to at least try the BAHA demo.  I still struggle to hear when there is a great deal of background noise.  Also, I cannot detect any change in directionality issues.  All in all, the BAHA is a vast improvement for me and has been such a help in the courtroom.  Susan
Translab surgery 12/15/2008 followed by CSF leakage repair and 3 additional surgeries for MRSA of the brain (NOT typical) SSD,  facial and vocal cord paralysis, numerous reconstructive surgeries, Transear 12/2010


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Re: SSD after surgery - Hearing Questions BAHA
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 03:37:57 pm »
Had surgery 5/31/07, had BAHA implant 3/4/08 simply because I couldn't stand being SSD.

Frustrated me, made me angry, made me feel old, etc.

Life with a BAHA is 100% better than life without a BAHA (in my opinion).

Having the implant surgery was one of the best decisions I made in my life.

It's not for everyone, and I understand that, but for me it was a life changer.

Don't let an audiologist tell you a BAHA isn't a good idea - unless the audiologist has personally tried one.  Even the demo, which impressed me greatly, isn't as good as the real thing.

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