Retrospective analysis of skin complications related to bone-anchored hearing aid implant: association with surgical technique, quality of life, and audiological benefit
Peñaranda, Daniel | 2018
The bone-anchored hearing aid is an effective form of auditory rehabilitation. Due to the nature of the implant, the most common complications are skin related. A number of alternative surgical implantation techniques have been used to reduce the frequency and severity of skin complications, including the U-shaped graft and the linear incision.
To assess skin complications and their association with surgical technique, quality of life, and audiological benefit in patients with bone-anchored hearing aids.
This was a retrospective study conducted in a tertiary referral center in Bogotá, Colombia. Patients who had been fitted with a bone-anchored hearing aid implant (unilaterally or bilaterally) for at least 6 months were included in the study. The Holgers classification was used to classify skin complications (Grade 0=none; Grade 1=erythema; Grade 2=erythema and discharge; Grade 3=granulation tissue; and Grade 4=inflammation/infection resulting in the removal of the abutment). The Glasgow Benefit Inventory questionnaire was used to determine quality of life, and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit questionnaire was used to determine the subjective audiological benefit.
A total of 37 patients were included in the study (30 with unilateral implants and 7 with bilateral implant). Of the 44 implants evaluated, 31 (70.3%) were associated with skin complications (7 [15.9%] Grade 1; 4 [9.1%] Grade 2; 15 [34.1%] Grade 3, 5 [11.4%] Grade 4). The U-shaped graft was statistically associated with major complications (Grades 3 and 4) compared with the linear incision technique (p=0.045). No statistically significant differences were found between Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit scores and severity of complications. Similarly, no differences were found between Glasgow Benefit Inventory physical health questions and skin complications.
Despite the high frequency, skin complications did not seem to affect quality of life or subjective audiological benefits of patients with bone-anchored hearing aids.