Does sleeping on the implant side hurt?


QuestionI am 78 years old and considering a Baha implant on my right side, but I sleep on that side only and I am now afraid that it will hurt if I sleep on that side…Please let me know if it is painless to sleep on it. Thanks and best regards // Claudio

Answer: Hi Claudio,

The good news is that the surgery has become less invasive in recent years so that pain and numbness are much less prevalent than in the past*.

In most cases, the abutment or magnet against the pillow is comfortable and should not cause any irritation. Looking at the literature, there will be a period of healing immediately after surgery when it may be uncomfortable. Following healing, you could experience some numbness or sensitivity which typically resolves over time**. Many people report to me that it is a matter of “see how it goes”, and over time it should be fine to sleep on the side with the implant.

This is a common question that your healthcare professional will be able to guide you through.

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

* Wilkie MD, Chakravarthy KM, Mamais C, Temple RH. Osseointegrated hearing implant surgery using a novel hydroxyapatite-coated concave abutment design. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2014;151:1014-9.
** Smeds H, Van Hasselt A, Luntz M, et al. Clinical outcomes from an international multi-center clinical investigation of a new magnetic bone conduction implant system. In: 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies. Munich; 2014.

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