Magnet gives ENT patients new hope
A surgeon from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is tomorrow performing a ground-breaking operation to fit a magnetic bone-anchored hearing aid for a woman in her fifties who suffers repeatedly from ear infections.
The technique, performed by ENT surgeon Mr Junaid Hanif, will be the first of its kind in the region. It is designed to help patients who are unable to wear a conventional hearing aid.
A number of patients at NNUH already benefit from implantable bone-anchored hearing aids with an external bolt to which a hearing aid can be fitted. The new device incorporates a magnet implanted under the skin and the hearing aid is simply placed on top.
Its quite a straightforward procedure but the technology was only invented a couple of years ago and only around 20 of these devices have been fitted so far in the UK, says Mr Hanif.
The magnetic BAHA (bone-anchored hearing aid) is suitable only for patients who have good cochlear function but for whatever reason are unable to wear a conventional hearing aid. However, it can make a huge difference to the lives of those patients and we hope to be able to fit more in the future.
Notes for editors
Unfortunately the patient who is being fitted with the BAHA is not keen to have publicity.