Author Topic: Getting a BAHA in Texas  (Read 7464 times)

LizAN

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Getting a BAHA in Texas
« on: September 05, 2012, 09:40:02 pm »
I'm looking at getting a BAHA before the end of the year, and am leaning toward the Oticon Ponto Pro.  I'm having trouble choosing a surgeon.

As much as I love the doctors at House, I can't afford to fly back and forth from Texas for all the required appointments, at least not this year (and I need to do it this year, as my recent translab surgery met my huge deductible).

I would love to hear from anyone who has had a BAHA implant done in Texas.  Vrabec in Houston is a definite possibility, but I know there are also doctors in Austin who do these procedures, I just haven't spoken with anyone who has personally had it done here.  What does anyone know about James Kemper, which is the name given to me by Oticon?  Are there others I should consider?

Can anyone offer their personal experience with getting a BAHA in Texas?

Thanks!
Liz
8/20/2010 - 9mm AN on left side 
Fullness, tinnitus, mild hearing loss
2/20/2011 - 8mm
4/20/2012 - 12.4 mm
Moderate to severe hearing loss, LOUD tinnitus, deteriorating balance
Facial numbness and twitching, which subsided pre-surgery
Translab at House, 7/3/2012, Slattery and Schwartz

kixit

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 06:21:41 am »
If you go to the Oticon website, they have a locate clinic option: http://www.oticonmedical.com/Medical/OurProducts.aspx

Try that or you could possibly call your local ENT for their advice.  ;D
left side AN 9mm diagnosed 2/2012
SSD, loud tinnitis left ear
Translab 5/24/12
Baha surgery 8/1/2012 at UVA
Baha hook up 11/09/2012  : ) 

I am a happy camper : )

james e

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  • 69 years 1.7cm, trans lab Mar 2010, BAHA 5
Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 12:52:58 pm »
Vrabec did mine in March 2010. I live in the Austin area, and he did my AN and the BAHA at the same time. He is a superb  person and doctor. I cannot give you a local reference in the Austin area. Anyway, you cannot go wrong with Dr. Vrabec.

James

LizAN

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 02:27:16 pm »
James,

Do you have a Cochlear BAHA?  The person who answered the phone at Vrabec's office confirmed that Vrabec implants the Cochlear devices but she had never heard of Oticon.

The name I have in Austin is James Kemper. He is an ENT, not a neurotologist. Do you know anything about him?

How do you like your BAHA?

Thanks!

Liz
8/20/2010 - 9mm AN on left side 
Fullness, tinnitus, mild hearing loss
2/20/2011 - 8mm
4/20/2012 - 12.4 mm
Moderate to severe hearing loss, LOUD tinnitus, deteriorating balance
Facial numbness and twitching, which subsided pre-surgery
Translab at House, 7/3/2012, Slattery and Schwartz

LizAN

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 02:31:36 pm »
Thanks, Kixit. My ENT recommended his partner Kevin Kriesel. He was very helpful during my post-op emergency but he only works with Cochlear, not Oticon.

Liz
8/20/2010 - 9mm AN on left side 
Fullness, tinnitus, mild hearing loss
2/20/2011 - 8mm
4/20/2012 - 12.4 mm
Moderate to severe hearing loss, LOUD tinnitus, deteriorating balance
Facial numbness and twitching, which subsided pre-surgery
Translab at House, 7/3/2012, Slattery and Schwartz

james e

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  • 69 years 1.7cm, trans lab Mar 2010, BAHA 5
Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 04:15:51 pm »
I have a Cochlear. I don't know any ENTs in Austin. I love my BP100. Customer service is excellent. Short on time right now, so that is the Readers Digest version.

James

leapyrtwins

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 07:11:04 pm »
Liz -

you don't have to be a neurotologist to implant a BAHA, it's a reality simple procedure.

Obviously you need someone with experience, but it doesn't need to be as vast as someone who does AN surgery.  My neurotologist once told me that if you've implanted even one BAHA, you are considered experienced enough to implant more.

Like James, I have a Cochlear BP100 and I'm thrilled with it.  It's my second Cochlear processor.  I originally used a Divino, but upgraded to the BP100 when it came out.  Cochlear has incredible customer service and stands behind their products. 

Like, Oticon, they also have a list of doctors on their website (www.cochlearamericas.com)  I think it's under "Find a Clinic". 

Cochlear also has a discussion forum similar to this one - and also free.  You'll find it under
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

LizAN

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 09:28:41 pm »
I talked with the Oticon rep and got the names of two different doctors in the Austin area who use their BAHA devices.  I am leaning toward Dr. James Kemper.  It turns out he did a fellowship in Neurotology, but I don't know where.  If I don't care for Kemper when I meet him, then I will go see Dr. Russell Briggs.  Dr. Kemper is older than Dr. Briggs, but I don't know how many implants either of them has done.  It probably doesn't matter that much.  Like you said, Jan, it is a relatively simple procedure.

Dr. Kemper is also on the Cochlear website, so he uses both Cochlear and Oticon products.  I might get a chance to test out both processors and see which one I prefer.  I like the fact that the Oticon abutment is universal.

Liz
8/20/2010 - 9mm AN on left side 
Fullness, tinnitus, mild hearing loss
2/20/2011 - 8mm
4/20/2012 - 12.4 mm
Moderate to severe hearing loss, LOUD tinnitus, deteriorating balance
Facial numbness and twitching, which subsided pre-surgery
Translab at House, 7/3/2012, Slattery and Schwartz

ramirezjrj

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 09:34:59 pm »
No sure what city you live in Texas, Im in Houston.  I see Dr. Paul Gidley at MD Anderson.  MDA has a department called the Head & Neck Surgery and the specialize in AN.  You mignt want to give them a call. 
Left sided AN, diag in 2011
surgery on 01/23/2013, Methodist Hospital
tumor 2.4cm,  No hearing on left side

Kaybo

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2012, 06:40:37 am »
Hmmm...ramirezjrj...I live in Houston now and have always wondered if MDA did any AN's.  I have never heard of anyone that has gone thru them & just assumed since it is more a "cancer" hospital, that it did not...

Good to know...

K   :D
Translab 12/95@Houston Methodist(Baylor College of Medicine)for "HUGE" tumor-no size specified
25 yrs then-14 hour surgery-stroke
12/7 Graft 1/97
Gold Weight x 5
SSD
Facial Paralysis-R(no movement or feelings in face,mouth,eye)
T3-3/08
Great life!

marisa_rivera

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 07:29:53 am »
Hi Liz
My daughter used to use James Kemper when we first found out about her SSD. We live in Austin and coincidentally her name is Liz(elizabeth).
He's a good doctor. She is currently using Dr.Briggs with ENT of Austin. He is a great doctor and his office staff is wonderful and very informative especially Joan who handles/does alot of the leg work on setting things up and insurance approval.
She is planning to get her BAHA very soon as well. We are looking at the Ponto Pro Power since her hearing is completely gone in her right ear.
So it sounds like either one is a good pic for you! :) Please let me know if there is anything I can assist you with.

Marisa

LizAN

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 08:02:13 pm »
Marisa,

I would love to talk with you and your daughter.

I made appointments with both Kemper and Briggs today.  Kemper does not have any availability to see me until November, and may not have room in his surgery schedule to get me in by the end of the year.  I really need to get this done before a new deductible kicks in, in January.  I will be able to get in to see Briggs next week, so he may be the one who does my BAHA surgery.

I'm glad to know there is someone in Dr. Briggs' office who works with insurance.  His web site says they don't file insurance for hearing aids.  Briggs is not listed on Cochlear's web site.  Has your daughter been able to try out the different processors?

I had been considering going to Houston, but it is not looking like it will be necessary, since there are two good docs in Austin.  But if Briggs can't do the surgery by the end of the year, then I will definitely look into MD Anderson or Dr. Vrabec.

Thanks everyone!  I don't know what I would do without this group!

Liz
8/20/2010 - 9mm AN on left side 
Fullness, tinnitus, mild hearing loss
2/20/2011 - 8mm
4/20/2012 - 12.4 mm
Moderate to severe hearing loss, LOUD tinnitus, deteriorating balance
Facial numbness and twitching, which subsided pre-surgery
Translab at House, 7/3/2012, Slattery and Schwartz

marisa_rivera

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 07:53:53 am »
Hi Liz,
We would be happy to talk to you! Feel free to message me your number. We are still waiting to get the surgery scheduled w/ Dr.Briggs. The insurance company normally doesn't consider the BAHA to be your normal hearing aid which is why it's filed differently. They will look at your over need and possible benefit from having this procedure done in order to approve it. They seem to know how to take care of all of it.
She did get to try out bot the Cochlear brand and the Oticon Ponto Pro. But of course it's not gonna give you the full experience. She did get to take them home and try them out in public and day to day activities.
I hope that you have some luck with Dr. Briggs. We are trying to get her scheduled asap before the year is up due to deductible issues as well. I dont think it will be a problem to do it before the year is up.

Please keep us updated. Feel free to message me if you'd like.

VictoriaDW

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2016, 04:11:55 pm »
It's my first time writing here and I know it's an old topic but I wanted to try write here before I start new topic.
So, I'm also looking to do BAHA surgery in TX, in Austin area particularly. Dr. Briggs is my ENT and he is great. He recommended me go to California to House Ear Clinic for AN surgery. I actually end up going with KEK, because of my insurance, and I cannot be happier with the result. So I'm very thankful that he sent me to Cali. Also I've spoken with audiologist that works in the same office with dr. Briggs and she said that he does only a few BAHA surgeries a year, also that's the only company they work with. I don't know how common complete hearing loss is but it seems not that often to me. So I was hoping to find out who did you go with for your BAHA surgery and how satisfied are you?
Thanks)

leapyrtwins

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Re: Getting a BAHA in Texas
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2016, 11:49:40 am »
I went to the neurotologist who did my AN surgery (along with a neurosurgeon) here in Illinois.  At the time of my BAHA implant he'd already done over 250.
 
I am thrilled with my BAHA - got it in 2008 - and it just gets better all the time.  I decided on Cochlear (as opposed to Oticon) and the upgrades they've continually made in their BAHA devices are awesome.  I currently wear a BAHA5 which is the smallest BAHA that is currently on the market.  Despite that, it's incredibly powerful. 

BAHA implant surgery is nothing like AN surgery - and it's not necessary to find a doc who has implanted hundreds.  From what my doc tells me, even someone who is "new" to the procedure isn't someone to avoid. 

I don't see any reason for you to go all the way back to House for the implant.   If you want to find doctors in your area check out this link http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/us/home/take-the-next-step/contact-a-hearing-specialist/contact-a-hearing-specialist

Just make sure you pick a professional who does BAHAs.

Good luck,

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

 


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