Tag Archives: Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery

Wearers explain why you shouldn’t fear minimally invasive Ponto surgery

We frequently receive inquiries from people who know that they would benefit from a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) but are holding off because they’re nervous about undergoing implantation surgery. While we can (and do) explain all the reasons our minimally invasive Ponto surgery (MIPS) is a low-risk, quick, and relatively painless procedure, nothing we can say will ever be quite as convincing as hearing from others who have experienced MIPS and its benefits firsthand or through their children. In this week’s post, we’re sharing feedback gathered from multiple Ponto BAHS wearers that we hope will alleviate any reticence that might be preventing you from moving forward in your journey to better hearing.

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“I had my abutment implanted 20 years ago with just local anesthetic and chatted with the assistant during the procedure; it was not painful.”— Beth P.

“It will be okay. My procedure was done 7 years ago, same day surgery, and all went well. I was given a large snap on protective disc/cover and that helped. By large, I mean it was about an inch in diameter. I used Neosporin cream, not greasy ointment, that had lidocaine in it. I would apply a small amount to the skin around the abutment and that helped with the tenderness. The surgery seems daunting, but it really is very safe. I had tenderness for a few days. My surgery was in December and then in February the device was added. I’m thankful every single day that I was able to have the surgery. It is life changing. I spent 50 years being so hard of hearing that once I got my Ponto, I sat and cried with joy.” — Lori H.

“I had my surgery with just a local anesthetic, was awake the whole time. It was fascinating as the doc explained it as she went along.” — Annette C.

“I had my MIPS in the morning, had brunch with my husband, and then napped that afternoon. Was more worried than was warranted!!! I had scheduled the next day off work, but it was not necessary! I teach figure skating. Best of luck! Happy hearing coming up!” — Karen L.

“If you’re talking about the Ponto abutment procedure, it was easy! I opted for no anesthesia or sedation. Just a local. It was painless. And not scary at all.” – Kathrin S.

“Had the procedure. No problems at all. Tiny discomfort the day of surgery. Got to start wearing the hearing aid after about 4-6 weeks. Went fabulously. No worries. You’ll do great! And you won’t regret it.” — Aaron B.

“Clear sound is in store for you… probably 4-8 weeks post-surgery. The abutment implant surgery was easy-peasy! There may be some mild tenderness or soreness. Use an antibiotic ointment! Keep area clean. If hat or cap wearing is part of your routine, take one with you so surgeon can place abutment below hat. Occasionally sleeping may be challenging if you are a side sleeper, changing pillows or pillow plumbing will help. These are minor inconveniences or adjustments for hearing capability! Bluetooth® streaming is wonderful for phone, TV, and other situations.” — Rita R.

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Are you ready to take the next step? We can help you find a clinic close to home where you can get all the answers you need regarding Ponto bone anchored hearing systems, MIPS, and more. You can also always contact Oticon Medical directly at 888.277.8014 or at info@oticonmedicalus.com.

After over 40 years with single sided deafness, Carl Bjerke finds the right hearing solution

In 1973, a snowmobile accident changed Carl Bjerke’s life. The accident, which resulted in head trauma, left Carl with permanent hearing loss on his left side. “My hearing was never checked and I just didn’t think much of it, and simply dealt with it,” he says.

His first hearing test
In 1980, Carl joined the U.S. Army as a mechanic but never told anyone about his hearing loss. “I had to constantly ask people ‘what did you say’ over and over again,” he says. It wasn’t until 1986 that Carl had his first hearing test and was officially diagnosed with single-sided deafness. He was given a crossover hearing aid, but quickly found it was too loud, especially for his position as a mechanic. “In just a few weeks, I found that it was overloading my good side, and I never wore it again,” he explains.

Trying a bone anchored hearing system
In 2008, Carl’s audiologist suggested he try a new technology—a Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS). They gave him a BAHS to try on a headband. As soon as he put the processor on, he noticed a huge difference in his hearing. “I could hear things on my left side that I couldn’t hear before,” he says. Once he returned the demo processor, he began his journey to have an abutment placed for his own Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System.

“I really researched the units that were out there and was very logical in reviewing all the facts. I looked at all the data and the Ponto 3 SuperPower was the best option for me,” he explains.

A new world emerges
In 2017, after concluding that insurance would cover the cost of his BAHS, Carl had the surgery.Three months later, Carl’s Ponto 3 SuperPower was programmed and activated. He recounts leaving his audiologist’s office that day and hearing his wife speak to him for the first time while she was standing on his left side. “I could understand her without saying ‘what or excuse me,” he says.

Today, Carl works as a quality and safety manager with Diagnostic Group LLC in Minneapolis and no longer has to go to a meeting early to find a good seat so he can hear everyone. “I was doing an audit in Florida and I could carry on a conversation with everyone. Everyone’s voices were clearer,” he says. Using his Oticon Medical Streamer he is able to connect to his phone and when listening to music he says he gets ‘the full range of music’.

To those struggling with single-sided deafness (SSD), Carl says, “There is help for people with SSD. Get your hearing checked, you might also benefit from a Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System.”

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Click the button if you want to learn more about our Ponto bone anchored hearing systems or arrange a trial.

From fearful to fearless – how advocacy helped Cierra McCorkell receive her abutment surgery

Cierra McCorkell was born with bilateral hearing loss with microtia and atresia on the left side.

She received her first Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing device in 2012 when she was in 6th grade after her hearing loss had progressed. She began wearing a Ponto Pro on a headband and continued with the headband until she was in high school. When discussing the possibility of surgery, she found the decision overwhelming, and surgery was a frightening thought.

“Just the word alone made her afraid. I have always let her choose for herself when she is ready to do something so this decision was solely on her.” – Theresa McCorkell

While researching bone anchored hearing, Cierra’s mother Theresa found the blog of a Ponto advocate who had written about her recent surgery to have her abutment placed. Theresa commented that her daughter was afraid of the surgery which sparked an online conversation that would lead Theresa and Cierra to Oticon Medical’s annual patient advocacy conference to learn more about the procedure.

Overcoming a fear of surgery
In October of 2016, Cierra and her mother attended the Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop. It was there, among fellow Ponto users, that Cierra expressed her fear of surgery and where she learned first hand about the Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS) procedure.

“She had never met anyone like her. But now she saw other children and adults who were doing great with the surgery and that helped her a lot. Cierra was nervous because she doesn’t talk about her hearing loss and we didn’t know what to expect. We had a great time and we learned a lot. She made friends and it opened up a whole new conversation for her to learn how to advocate for herself now that she is getting older.” – Theresa McCorkell

On the last day of the conference, Cierra announced that she had made the decision to move forward with abutment surgery thanks to the stories and information provided by fellow advocates.

Surgery and activation
On September 1, 2017, Cierra was implanted using the MIPS procedure. Her mother comments that the surgery was less than an hour and without complications. Four months after her abutment was placed, Cierra was finally able to snap on her Ponto Pro, which her mother captured in the video below.

 

“Ultimately, what helped was knowing there are people just like her out there.” – Theresa McCorkell

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Click the button if you want to learn more about our Ponto bone anchored hearing systems or arrange a trial.

 

The Ponto 3 SuperPower is a hopeful solution to hearing loss for James Wolff

James Wolff is 71-years-old and has experienced hearing loss for years. In the past, he wore bilateral hearing aids, however, because of drainage in his left ear, he often had to remove the hearing aid which left him with poor hearing on his left side. His daughter, Kimberlee Griffey who has worked at Oticon Medical for 7 years, recounts bringing her bone anchored hearing equipment to Christmas every year for her father to try.

“I’d bring a demo, a softband, and a Streamer to Christmas,  just wanting to test him, but he would say he didn’t need it. Then last Christmas he finally said ‘I think I’m ready for the procedure’.” – Kimberlee Griffey

James had surgery to get his abutment placed in June 2017 with Dr. James Benecke at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Benecke has been working with bone anchored hearing systems (BAHS) for 14 years. He says that for many patients with conductive or mixed hearing loss who cannot have their hearing corrected surgically and cannot use hearing aids because of ear canal and drainage issues, a BAHS is a great option.

When considering a BAHS for his patients, Dr. Benecke investigates and explains all available options. He recommends that his patients talk with other patients who wear different devices, checks insurance options and has patients trial the BAHS on a softband. If an audiometric evaluation is unclear as to whether a person might be a good candidate for the Ponto, he works with Oticon Medical representatives to help with identifying potential candidates when an evaluation might be unclear.

“I always give patients their options and have them chat with people who have tried different systems. Overall, my patient population does better with bone anchored hearing systems as opposed to a CROS hearing aid.” – Dr. Benecke

For James’s procedure, Dr. Benecke performed the Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS). MIPS is a procedure that takes 10-15 minutes and is normally carried out under local anesthetic. He mentions that when someone says the word surgery, most patients have pre-conceived thoughts about what is involved.

“No one wants to have surgery, but if there is an opportunity to improve an aspect of someone’s health by doing a procedure that someone is well informed about and has good outcomes, then people need to know about it so they can make the best-informed decision.” – Dr. Benecke

“When people first think of surgery they think long recovery time—a long time in the operating room. I tell people that with the MIPS procedure it’s less than an hour, outpatient procedure. My dad had no pain whatsoever. It was life-changing for him. My advice is not to wait because you don’t know what you’re missing.” – Kimberlee Griffey

This past September, James was activated with his Ponto 3 SuperPower and the results have been life-changing.

“Before he described sounds as muffled.  Now it is loud and clear.  His volume of speech has significantly decreased because now he can monitor his own speech, where he was not able to do this before. He drives a lot and he’s able to put the microphone on his grandkids and he can hear them in the back seat. He also loves using his Streamer to connect to his phone, TV, and laptop. It has opened a whole new world and I am so very grateful that he is able to get the best of life in his golden years.” – Kimberlee Griffey

As awareness continues to grow around bone anchored hearing and the MIPS procedure, Dr. Benecke says he will continue to advocate for bone anchored hearing because ‘the results speak for themselves’.

“The first thing my dad said after he was fit with his Ponto was ‘why didn’t you tell me about this earlier?’” – Kimberlee Griffey

 

Interested in learning more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower? Click below and we can help connect with you with an audiologist in your area.
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Showing the Simplicity of MIPS at the AAO-HNSF Conference (video)

This week, we were in San Diego at the AAO-HNSF conference to connect with hearing care professionals from around the world. Our booth at the conference gave professionals the opportunity to perform mock, hands-on Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS) procedures.

The MIPS surgery takes a total of 10-15 minutes and is normally carried out under local anesthetic. A circular incision is made that matches the abutment exactly. The surgeon uses specially designed instruments for MIPS. This leaves the skin around the incision intact with no skin tissue or hair follicles removed from around the abutment.

Here’s a short video that we shot on the conference floor. Note that the person doing the demo isn’t a professional, so she was learning in real-time just how minimally-invasive getting an abutment for a Ponto can be!

Want to learn more about getting your own Ponto? We can connect you with a local Audiologist, just click the button below and let us know!


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Meet Dr. Lawrence Lustig, Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians

This post is part of a clinic feature series, where we highlight doctors and clinics who offer the Oticon Medical Bone Anchored Hearing System, the Ponto.

Dr. Lawrence Lustig, MD,  is one of the nation’s leading experts in hearing loss

Dr. Lawrence Lustig, Otolaryngologist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Lustig is the chair of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and otolaryngologist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Today, Dr. Lustig’s mission at New York City at Columbia University Medical Center & New York Presbyterian Hospital is to build a practice of the very best otolaryngology clinicians and research scientists.

He treats the full spectrum of ear disorders in adults and children, as well as skull base disease. His specialties include skull base surgery, Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS), cochlear implants, the genetics of hearing loss, cochlear gene therapy, surgery for chronic otitis media, balance disorders, and hair cell physiology.

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Teen Shares Her Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS) Surgery Story with the World

UPDATE: The Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS) procedure has now received FDA clearance and will soon be available in the United States.

Ponto surgery with tissue preservation has been done for a few years now. Also, many physicians use a “punch” incision with this technique. What this new MIPS surgery and surgical items provide are the first tools designed specifically to support and advance these great techniques with the aim at making it easier and more safe for patients to get the best possible results.

An excited 15-year-old, Karina Theoret, shared her story about getting an abutment for her bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) with a new surgical procedure, Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS). When she stepped into the operating room at the Montreal Children’s Hospital last week, she was more excited than nervous. Karina has been deaf in her right ear since she was born. Soon, she’ll be able to hear with a bone anchored hearing system.

MIPS Surgery Because Karina is the first person in North America to undergo surgery with this new technique, her story was captured and shared by CTV News Montreal, and you can view it below.

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