The Birmingham Pediatric Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid Program: A 15-Year Experience
Objective: To evaluate the complication rates and outcomes of children who were fitted with a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) on the Birmingham BAHA program.
Study Design: Retrospective case analysis of clinical records of all children implanted at Birmingham Children’s Hospital since the beginning of the program in 1992 until February 2007.
Patients: A total of 182 children younger than 16 years old fitted with a BAHA. Of these children, 107 had a significant medical history.
Results: Surgery was performed as a 2-stage procedure in 174 children. The healing time was between 3 and 4 months in 112 (64%) cases. Single-stage surgery was performed in 8 cases. Implant failures were 14% of 230 loaded fixtures (32 fixtures lost in total). Multiple-fixture failures (18 fixture failures) occurred in 7 patients. Adverse skin reactions appeared in 34 (17%) patients during a 15-year follow-up period. Revision surgery was undertaken in 14 (8%) cases because of skin overgrowth around the abutment. Five of these cases required multiple surgical skin reductions.
Conclusion: The Birmingham Program has a high proportion of syndromic patients with complex medical problems. The fixture failure rate was found to be 14%. This included the multiple-fixture failures in children younger than 3 years old. There was 1 serious complication. The BAHA is a reliable and effective treatment for selected patients. Our program currently has 97% of its children wearing their BAHA on a daily basis with continuing audiologic benefit.