Will the Baha Attract System work for my 10-year old son with microtia?

Question: My son has microtia and conductive hearing loss in one ear. An exploratory surgery revealed that his middle ear bones were fused together and they were unable to locate the oval window. It might be under the facial nerves.

He’s been wearing an Oticon on a tennis head band. The fit is looser than desired but it’s better than the metal band the Oticon came with. His audiologist is recommending the Baha Attract System. He is 10 and fairly active. He has normal hearing in the other ear. He only wears his hearing aid in class. We’ve encouraged him to wear it more outside of class. My questions are: what is the expected recovery time? Is this something that should be done during summer break? How secure is the sound processor on the magnet, especially for active kids? Does sweat or hair affect the connection? I would love to hear from kids who have had this done but cannot seem to find any on the forums.

Thank you for your time. //Judy

Answer:  Hi Judy, thank you for your question. I am glad that the bone conductor on the soft band has provided benefit. The experience* is that the hearing experience will be at least as good as if not better than with the softband.

Bone conduction hearing solutions such as the Baha Attract System provides an excellent solution for children with microtia. The solution, is designed to stay attached to the child during typical activities during the day (e.g. running, playing tennis etc). In a recent study** we reported on 52 children who used the Baha Attract System and reported excellent outcomes in terms of hearing experience and few – if any – issues with retention or getting used to the sound. In terms of retention, your healthcare provider will select from the choice of six magnets which one is best for your son. For recovery, everyone is different and the length of time will depend on each situation, and an excellent idea to take advantage of the summer break if you can. For many children, until the Baha Attract System is fitted, they may wear the sound processor on the Baha Softband. Your healthcare provider will guide you in when you can wear it again and how to avoid it rubbing against the surgical area.

~ Mark C. Flynn, PhD Audiologist, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

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* Sandberg, A., Wigren, S. & Flynn, M. Global clinical outcomes of a magnetic retention bone conduction hearing system. 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies, Munich, 18-21 June 2014.
** Smeds, H., Van Hasselt, A., Luntz, M., Goycoolea, M., Flynn, M., Wigren, S., Weber, P., Plant, K., Knight, M., Cowan, R. & Briggs R., Clinical outcomes from an international multi-center clinical investigation of a new magnetic bone conduction implant system. 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies, Munich, 18-21 June 2014.