Question: Hi, I have just been told that I am a candidate for a Baha solution. My ENT told me I had to decide whether I wanted an abutment or magnetic attachment. He hasn’t performed any magnetic surgeries yet but many abutments, he feels that the surgery is very similar and won’t have a problem doing it. I’m not sure if I want to be his first patient but you have to start somewhere. He also feels that with the abutment you get a bit better sound quality – is this correct? Is there any one who has had both types and if so how do you compare the two. My feeling is that because the magnet is the newest technology then it should be better than the abutment – is this true? Thanks.
Answer: Hi Tina! Yes the surgical procedures for the Baha Connect and the Baha Attract System are very similar (many steps are the same) so your surgeon will be able to apply the experience from performing the Baha Connect surgeries in Baha Attract surgeries. The key difference is that the Baha Attract surgery will take a little longer due to the placement of the internal magnet – the incision is a bit longer. But generally speaking, both types of surgery are very straightforward. And typically with a surgeon’s first case, an experienced representative from the manufacturer usually attends the surgery to offer guidance and experience. So you won’t be alone in the operation room!
Regarding sound quality: In my opinion, if the loss is conductive or mixed in the ear to be implanted, either system should work well. Same as if normal hearing in good ear and deaf in the other. For larger mixed hearing losses the Connect System may have more power.
If you have a severe hearing loss, then the Baha Connect System will probably work best for you, as the direct connection through the abutment will always be a bit better than going through the skin. But if your hearing loss is not that large, the Baha Attract System will be more than sufficient.
The best method to test the sound quality of the two systems is to try the Baha Softband. This way you will be able to hear through bone conduction for the first time, before surgery. You will get a good idea of what the sound quality will be like. If you hear well in this test, you can expect to hear very well following the surgery.
Hope I managed to clear things up a little bit?
Pete Weber, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Cochlear Americas
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