First North American receives bone conduction implant

Kelly Dickson, from Cambridge, Ontario has become the first patient in North America to receive the BONEBRIDGE™ - a bone conduction hearing implant. The surgery was successfully performed at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) by Dr. Sumit Agrawal and his surgical team allowing Dickson to hear a full range of sounds.

"This is an exciting new treatment option for patients with certain hearing impairments," says Agrawal. "The system includes an implant and externally worn audio processor that together simulate the natural hearing process."

BONEBRIDGE is new technology developed by MED-El Medical Electronics that makes it possible for people with hearing impairments, including conductive and mixed hearing losses or single-sided deafness, to hear a full range of sounds.

The audio processor records sound and converts it into signals which are transferred through the skin to the implant. The implant converts the signals received into mechanical vibrations that are transmitted to the surrounding bone. The bone then conducts these vibrations to the inner ear where they are converted into nerve signals and transmitted as impulses to the auditory nerve.

"Unlike older technology, the processor communicates wirelessly through intact skin, which makes it very cosmetically appealing and maintenance-free for patients," adds Agrawal.

Source: London Health Sciences Centre