A piece of rib and a bone conduction implant have been used as an internal hearing aid for the first time in the UK.
The implant, called the Bonebridge implant, has been fitted for a man in Edinburgh as his condition means he is unable to have a normal hearing aid fitted.
He was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, which is a genetic condition changes the development of facial bones and tissues.
The man, Brian Hogg aged 29, is the first to have the implant. Cartilage from his rib has been used to fashion a new ear and support the new Bonebridge implant, which is fitted inside the ear which replicates the ear drum, to improve his ability to hear.
He said it has greatly improved the range of sounds he can hear and hearing sounds from a distance:
After the new implant was been fitted I’ve noticed a huge difference in the range of sounds I can hear. The sound quality is much better and I can hear noises at a distance now, which my previous device didn’t pick up.
The Bonebridge implant is so light, it’s practically weightless. It’s tailored to most closely match my normal hearing range.
The new implant is a really big step forward in technology and I’m very grateful to the team of consultants for fitting the implant for me.
The operation was carried out in December 2012 by NHS Lothian consultant Alex Bennet:
This is a truly innovative procedure and I’m sure the device will make a significant difference to Brian and many other patients like him.
The Bonebridge implant is intended to improve hearing by replicating the actions of the ear drum.
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