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Implants or implantable hearing solutions are aesthetically pleasing, highly sophisticated mechanical devices that are surgically implanted in patients who suffer from hearing loss.
Patients who qualify for implantable hearing solutions are managed by a team of professionals from the CHi. Except for the Percutaneous Bone Conduction Implant, all implantable hearing solutions are surgically implanted with the device located under the skin and behind the ear. All these intact skin solutions have an externally worn component that fits on the implanted part by means of a magnet. The Percutaneous Bone Conduction Implant is an exception as it has a skin penetrating part onto which the externally worn processor is clipped.
To view pictures and videos that explain these implants in greater detail, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Implantable hearing solutions do not replace conventional state of the art hearing aids. It serves as an alternative to those patients who do not optimally benefit from hearing aids or patients who, due to anatomical restrictions, cannot wear conventional hearing aids.
There are different types of implantable hearing solutions on the market catering for all types and degrees of hearing loss. Patients with conductive-, mixed-, and sensorineural hearing loss and single sided deafness (SSD) may qualify.
Cape hearing implants (CHi) offer 5 implantable hearing solutions and oneNon Implanted Bone Conduction Device hearing system. CHi also manages appropriate referrals for auditory brainstem implants (ABI).
Implantable hearing solutions
ACTIVE TRANSCUTANEOUS BONE CONDUCTION IMPLANT
Active Transcutaneous Bone Conduction Implant is a partially implantable hearing solution that consists of two major components namely an implant and an externally worn audio processor. Active Transcutaneous Bone Conduction Implant is indicated for patients with conductive- and mixed hearing loss as well as single sided deafness (SSD).Read more
PASSIVE MIDDLE EAR IMPLANT
Passive Middle Ear Implant is an implantable hearing solution that consists of a surgically implanted prosthesis in the middle ear to improve sound conduction to the inner ear. Passive Middle Ear Implant is indicated for patients with conductive and mixed hearing losses.Read more
ACTIVE MIDDLE EAR IMPLANT
Active Middle Ear Implant is an implantable hearing solution that consists of two major components namely an implant (with the floating mass transducer or FMT) and an externally worn audio processor. Active Middle Ear Implant is indicated for patients with conductive-, sensorineural- and mixed hearing losses.Read more
PERCUTANEOUS BONE CONDUCTION IMPLANT
Percutaneous Bone Conduction Implant is a partially implantable bone anchored hearing system. The bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) consists of a titanium implant, abutment and sound processor. Percutaneous Bone Conduction Implant is indicated for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single sided deafness.Read more
The cochlear implant (CI) consists of two major components namely an implant and an externally worn audio processor. Cochlear implant systems are indicated for patients with severe-, to profound sensorineural hearing loss who do not benefit from hearing aids. Chi uses only cochlear implants which are 3 Tesla MRI compatible, that has a variety of electrode designs, and has hearing preservation capabilities.
The implantable component, also called the internal cochlear implant is the part that is surgically implanted and consists of a coil, a magnet that holds the audio processor in position over the implant, a demodulator and flexible electrodes. The external audio processor is worn on the outside on the skin and contains a battery, one or two microphones and a fully digital signal processor. The two available audio processor options are the Behind-the-Ear Audio Processor and the Wireless rechargeable Single-Unit Processor.
It is important that the magnet of the CI is 3 Tesla MRI compatible without the need to surgically remove the magnet before MRI. Electrode arrays must therefore be engineered in such a way that it preserve delicate cochlear structures and provide complete coverage of the cochlea for superior hearing performance across the frequency spectrum.
A CI works by converting audio signals into electrical signals. It bypasses non-functioning parts of the inner ear and provides electrical stimulation directly to nerve fibers in the cochlea. It is the only medical device capable of replacing a sense.
Cochlear implant systems are indicated for patients with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss who do not benefit from hearing aids.
It is important that prospective patients do their own research regarding the choice of implants available. For ease of reference, below a is a list of Cochlear Implants available in South-Africa.Read more
ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC STIMULATION (EAS)
Electric Acoustic Stimulation (EAS) is a hearing implant system that combines two technologies to cover the full frequency range of hearing. Electric stimulation via a cochlear implant is used in combination with acoustic sound stimulation via an integrated hearing aid. The EAS cochlear implant systems are indicated for patients with partial deafness (high frequency profound sensorineural hearing loss in combination with mild to moderate low frequency hearing loss).Read more
Non-implantable bone conduction hearing system
NON IMPLANTED BONE CONDUCTION DEVICE
Non Implanted Bone Conduction Device is a bone conduction hearing system that consists of two major components namely an externally worn processor and an externally worn adhesive adapter. Non Implanted Bone Conduction Device is a gentle, effortless, reliable and cosmetic appealing option for bone conduction in adults and children.Read more
Auditory Brainstem Implants
Auditory brainstem implants
The auditory brainstem implant (ABI) system is a hearing solution for patients without a functional auditory nerve. It consists of two major components namely an implant and an externally worn audio processor. The ABI system is indicated for patients with non-functional auditory nerves such as in Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and cochlear nerve aplasia. CHi is a referral center for ABI. Surgery is currently only performed in Gauteng.Read more