A patient from Edinburgh has become the first person in the UK to receive a breakthrough procedure to treat hearing loss.
NHS Lothian carried out the first specialist Bonebridge implant in December 2012 at the Lauriston Building in Edinburgh.
The innovative device is fitted within the ear and is used when a patient is unable to have a conventional external hearing aid fitted.
Alex Bennett, an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant for NHS Lothian performed the procedure on patient, Brian Hogg. Alex Bennett said: “This is a truly innovative procedure and I’m sure the device will make a significant difference to Brian and many other patients like him.
“The Bonebridge implant is intended to improve hearing by replicating the actions of the ear drum. A discreet audio processor, which is attached to the patient’s head, picks up sound waves which are then amplified by the implant and passed to the inner ear through the skull bone. These sound waves are then interpreted by the brain as sound.”
Brian Hogg, 29, from Edinburgh was the first patient to undergo the procedure in December last year. During the procedure Brian’s right ear was reconstructed using bone which was carved from one of his ribs.
Brain was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, meaning he could not wear conventional hearing aids as they are styled to fit in and around the top and middle of the ear.
Since undergoing surgery he has noticed a big difference. “After the new implant was been fitted I’ve noticed a huge difference in the range of sounds I can hear,” said Brian.
“The sound quality is much better and I can hear noises at a distance now, which my previous device didn’t pick up.
“The Bonebridge implant is so light, it’s practically weightless. It’s tailored to most closely match my normal hearing range.
“When you think about how far mobile phone technology has come in the last ten years, there have been similar advances in hearing aids. The new implant is a really big step forward in technology and I’m very grateful to the team of consultants for fitting the implant for me.”
Dr Ingeborg Hochmair, Managing Director of MED-EL which designed the implant, said: “Our innovative development of the Bonebridge will considerably improve the lives of patients. We consider this new development a great success. The Bonebridge is the culmination of decades of experience gathered in the development of hearing implant solutions.”
- The Bonebridge Implant is the world’s first bone conduction middle ear implant.
- Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) is a genetic disorder resulting in abnormalities in the development of the head and neck. Those suffering from TCS will typically be born with small, underdeveloped ears and an abnormal middle ear, resulting in very poor levels of hearing or deafness.
Source: NHS Lothian