A 12-year-old child with bilateral congenital microtia and ear canal atresia was bilaterally implanted with a Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) on the right side and a Bonebridge on the left side. Prior to these surgeries the child was using percutaneous bone conduction devices (BCDs) on a headband for more than 9 years. No complications occurred during the surgeries. Sound field audiological testing showed cumulative benefit when both devices were used simultaneously. Directional hearing was tested in a sound-attenuated room. To ensure that the subject could only use acoustic information to localize sounds, the test was performed in complete darkness. The ability to localize sounds was poor when listening with either the VSB or Bonebridge, but increased significantly when both devices were used simultaneously. To our knowledge this is the first case report about the bilateral implantation of a VSB and Bonebridge. The VSB and Bonebridge were effectively combined in a teenager with aural atresia on both sides. It should be noted that from age 3 until the time of implant surgery, the patient had used bilateral BCDs on headbands, so he had almost 10 years of experience with bilateral auditory input. That might have been beneficial with respect to binaural hearing.
Dr. Myrthe Hol
Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
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