While bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs) are currently indicated for rehabilitation in children older than 5 years with bilateral maximal conductive hearing loss, our objective was to capitalize on potentially important stages of auditory and speech-language development by providing BAHAs to children younger than 5 years.
A retrospective review of surgical data of children receiving BAHA implants over a 10-year period.
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario.
Twenty children 5 years or younger (mean ± SD age, 3.21 ± 1.65 years) served as the study group, while 20 older children (mean ± SD age, 7.63 ± 1.55 years) served as the comparison group.
All patients received BAHA implants. Children with cortical bone thickness less than 2.5 mm underwent a 2-stage procedure; children with cortical bone thickness greater than 4 mm underwent a single-stage procedure.
Main Outcome Measures
Traumatic and skin revision complication rates and implantation interstage intervals were compared between groups.
The mean ± SD interstage interval was 7.72 ± 3.81 months for the younger children, which was significantly longer than for the older children (4.41 ± 2.51 months) (P<.003). Two traumatic fixture losses occurred in the younger children, while 4 occurred in the older children. Skin site revision was required in 3 younger children. All children are currently wearing their BAHAs.
Two-stage BAHA implantation with a prolonged interval between stages yields surgical success in younger children comparable to that routinely observed in older children.