Author Topic: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina  (Read 3071 times)

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« on: May 29, 2017, 05:39:14 pm »
I've been an anonymous reader until this posting, and I am hoping to hear from other BAHA recipients on how the implant (abutment) recovery process went for them?

I just had the abutment implanted on Friday May 26th and so far all is going as expected.  I am somewhat unsure about how long I can expect to wear the plastic healing cap, and how to best take care of the abutment after the cap has been removed.  How long was it until you felt sufficiently recovered to get back to work?  I'm working with a great medical team here who have been good about filling in the blanks but I don't necessarily know all the questions to ask or pitfalls to look out for.  I am also a bit lucky in that I've been able to schedule an entire week of leave where hopefully when I return to the office I can do so without wearing any bandages on my head. At least this first week following the initial implant is at my pace on my schedule.  I will note that the implant did end up being placed higher up on my head than expected due to soft tissue thickness I was told.  I'm going to have to get creative about the hats I wear in the summer to cover my bald head.

Anyway thanks in advance to everyone, especially for the posts shared already on this forum that I've been able to read and learn from.


Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 11:07:32 am »
Adding a quick update - I go in tomorrow to have the bandages and healing cap removed.  Hopefully it all turns out well.

Waiting three months for the sound processor is going to be a challenge for certain.  I am looking forward to it though - 38 years of SSD and acquired habits are going to make it tough to learn to trust the BAHA device.  Do most folks receive any kind of therapy to learn how to hear with the BAHA?  If it helps, I am going to get fit with the Cochlear BAHA 5 Power model.  Any tips and suggestions are most welcome!

EricC

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 01:17:35 pm »
You should elaborate a bit.  By BAHA are you talking Cochlear?  I just had a Ponto installed.  Ponto uses the MIPS procedure which doesn't require any suturing.  I don't know what Cochlear uses.  Anyway, I'm about 1 month post surgery.  I had the "pillow" for 1 week.  Then it was removed and I had a small plastic healing cap for 1 week.  Now its just part of my body.  My ENT surgeon said treat it like a tooth.  I mostly just clean it when I have shampoo in my hair.  At the 1month checkup, I'll get additional instructions on cleaning.

I had surgery on a Monday and was working on Thursday.  Although I pretty much hung around my computer with a hoodie on.  After the first week I was biking 25miles a day (my normal routine, no extra super powers  :-\ ).  I did get some extra soreness after the ENT took the pillow off.  My 1 month is around the corner and I'm finally able to sleep on the surgery side. 
4.6 x 3.4 x 2.9 mm (2017)
4.3 x 2.4x 2.5 mm (2016)
3.9 x 2.1 x 2.5 mm (2015)

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 03:01:36 pm »
One thing I noted but didn't see in any of the posts I read, is that when my wife gets me laughing the implant side of my head feels like I get a wicked muscle cramp for a bit until I quit laughing.  I am hoping this goes away.  I'll ask the doctor tomorrow during my visit just in case.

I posted a brief follow up - but here it is again - I am in the process of getting a Cochlear BAHA 5 Power.  I understand a similarity minimally invasive procedure was used that eliminated the need for stitches. 

Right or wrong, the only bandages I had was a thin gauze wrapped under the typical "healing cap".  I am sure I was told to avoid sleeping on the implant side, but I am a bit of a tosser when I sleep.  It is already sufficiently recovered that when I inevitability roll over it doesn't really cause any pain or issues.  So it sounds like things are healing up just fine, just a tiny bit of tenderness and swelling but even most of that is already gone.

I only wish I could find the motivation to exercise that much regularly - well done on your part!

First post surgical follow up is tomorrow, I am expecting to hear all encouraging things based on how I feel things are healing.

alabamajane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 08:26:28 pm »
Hi Theham and welcome,,
I received my Cochlear BAHA 4 in 2014. I was SSD for 3 years following my surgery in 2011. I don't remember much about the recovery time except that it wasn't very bad.

I am currently in the process of updating to the 5 power and I'm really excited! I'm hoping it does much better than the 4. I have never really been satisfied with my hearing with the 4,, I don't think it is strong enough. I have had the processor adjusted several times and sent it in for repairs twice during the warranty time. I may have gotten a bad processor too.

If you have been SSD for 38 years,, you may have a hard time adjusting to it. I blamed 3 years of SSD for having a hard time using the BAHA. I really prefer to leave it off on days I stay home,,, my tinnitus is bad in the AN ear and it seems to just interfere with sounds.

I'll be interested to hear how you like it after activation. As far as cleaning abutment,, I received a VERY soft toothbrush in my kit to use in the shower or anytime to brush around the abutment. As I don't wash my hair everyday,,, I don't seem to clean it real consistently, it will get irritated though if I'm not careful,,, the skin does not adhere right up to the metal post so bacteria can get under the skin. You have to learn to be diligent about cleaning it. But I can feel it getting red and tender if I'm not careful,,,
Good luck and let us hear how it goes for you,,,
Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

EricC

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 09:12:39 am »

I only wish I could find the motivation to exercise that much regularly - well done on your part!


I live next to an inter-urban bike trail that goes through Seattle.  Traffic is awful and a leisure bike ride is faster than cars on the freeway.  Might as well make use of that time instead of polluting up the city.  I'm really not that in shape, but when you bike 2hrs a day you can eat donuts everyday as well :)

Sleeping is my favorite now.  I roll over on my good side and I go dark for the night.  I love the quiet.  Good luck with the checkup!  I've got 64 days until "snap day". 
4.6 x 3.4 x 2.9 mm (2017)
4.3 x 2.4x 2.5 mm (2016)
3.9 x 2.1 x 2.5 mm (2015)

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 09:31:38 am »
I just got out.  I was told they used a 14mm abutment - I didn't think Cochlear had that as an option unless it was the 4mm implant with an attached 10mm abutment.  Regardless I am bandage free but still tender like I have a nasty bruise.   I was given the all clear to take a shower like I usually do.

I long ago learned to sleep on my good ear.  Appears to be a very common habit.  At one point I lived in a super cheap area next to an industrial/commercial rail yard mostly used for shippers goods.  It never bothered me even a little. 

I'm scheduled to have the sound processor activated middle of September.  The time will go by quick enough.

I still haven't been provided any aftercare items from the team I am working with.  I got good directions but that was it.  I expect that when I get the unit activated that I'll receive the full care package that accompanies the sound processor.

As far as adjusting to it - I fully expect a lot of work is going to go into learning to use the device which is why I was asking if folks who have active sound processors have had any kind of follow up therapy to help you learn to hear.

--
Jason

alabamajane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 02:06:38 pm »
Jason,
No therapy just put it on and wear it as much as possible so your brain gets used to hearing on that side again. You may have to return to audiologist for adjustments from time to time early on. I have never encountered anyone on here who was referred for any type of hearing therpy I don't believe. Besides wearing it religiously and patience,, that's all I know.
Good luck,
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 03:51:52 pm »
That is kind of what I was expecting.  I do have a good friend of my family who is a speech pathologist who works with children who are fitted with BAHA and CI devices.  I will have to see if she has any suggestions too.

Hoping the soreness and residual swelling goes away quickly.

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 09:40:05 am »
How long do folks typically experience a sense of tenderness around the implant site following their BAHA implant?  I have been getting progressively better and the healing process has been going pretty well for me, but it still feels like I have a good bruise surrounding the implant site and it is mildly tender to the touch.  I will note that my doctor says this is very normal and should clear up on its own - though every individual heals at a slightly different rate.  I was told to continue to keep it clean (lifetime directions) and to monitor the site for the next week, schedule an appointment immediately if the tenderness gets worse and not better (possible sign of infection I guess).  It is not warm to the touch nor red in color, just a little tender still. 

Anyway - figured I'd ask the folks who have first hand experience with the receiving end of a BAHA implant.     Thanks again

--
Jason

alabamajane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 11:08:34 am »
Jason,
I don't remember how long it was right after surgery for implant ,,,however, mine will still get a little tender occasionally if I am not conscientious about cleaning area. I have also had to use a q-tip of alcohol to clean area when I feel it getting inflamed a little. Not often. My point is, it is natural I believe for it to be a little tender occasionally,,,,especially if skin does not adhere to post well.

I have not had a case of infection though.
Sounds like you are healing well,,,
Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 08:07:34 am »
I figured I would post a follow up for those interested.  It took a few weeks but the soreness and swelling finally went away on its own.  There were a few frustrating nights where I wanted to sleep facing one direction but could not due to the soreness of the implant site - regardless of the softness of the pillow I attempted to use.  Fast forward a month and change later, it pretty much makes no difference which side I sleep on. 

I am still a few weeks away from receiving the sound processor but all in all, the process has been exactly as advertised.  I surprisingly have gotten fewer odd looks and questions about the visible abutment than I was expecting.  I have made a kind of game of it - pretend to absentmindedly itch my head near the implant to see what kind of funny look I can trigger on folks. 

Anyway, looking forward to getting the sound processor and moving along with the process of learning to hear with the new device.


--
Jason

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 06:47:23 am »
I was finally issued the Baha 5 Power sound processor so far things are functioning as expected.  I am not sure how initial experiences for other folks have been but so far, sound processed through the sound processor sounds quite a bit like I am in a tunnel but then sounds from my hearing ear are what I would describe as normal.  I've been told that this is pretty common as users acclimate to using these types of systems.  I am guessing that as I have the programming refined that my user experience will improve. 

The one big thing I noted is that when I pair it with my iphone that it hijacks all the audio output and routes it to my BAHA.  So when I plugged my phone in to listen to a bit of music through my car stereo unexpectedly I only heard it through the BAHA device I happened to be wearing (trying to use the device as much as I can to acclimate to its use).  I briefly turned off the sound processor (pop'ed open the battery door) to then have the sound process through my car stereo.  I should have expected this but it is one of the unexpected side effects of pairing my phone and sound processor.  I am sure that as I use the two in tandem more that there are going to be other similar interesting things that pop up.

Final brief note - I was also given a mini mic when I picked up the sound processor that I have not attempted to use yet.  I am sure at some point I will give that device a test drive too.  For now, I am taking the time to let my mind wrap itself around using just the sound processor alone. 

Anyway - I hope everyone reading this thread finds themselves in fair winds and following seas.

--
Jason

alabamajane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 07:53:33 am »
Jason,,
Congrats on getting your processor and better hearing!

I too have had similar experiences learning to use mine. I just got my upgrade in June. This power5 is a whole new experience from my 4 ,,, I have much to learn and I'm not that good with devices in general  ::)

I have not used my mini mic either. Just haven't been in a situation to need it.
I think once we use the processor and get used to the features it will get better. I'm confident your audiologist can program your processor to your needs.

Good luck to you,,,,
Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

Theham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: New BAHA Recipient in South Carolina
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 03:56:24 pm »
Has anyone ever had an issue with their abutment where the screw worked loose......  I am now waiting on an appointment with the medical team to get it checked out.  I just hope I don't somehow loose the screw - thankfully I've got that plastic cosmetic button cap deal to keep it covered.  This thing is WELL affixed to my head so it seems only the tiny screw is loose.

Anyway part of the adventure....


--
Jason

 


anything