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Middle Ear Implant

Amade-Implant.jpg​The Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) is a middle ear implant system for individuals who have mild to severe conductive/mixed or sensorineural type of hearing loss. The technology of the Vibrant Soundbridge bypasses the outer ear in order to directly stimulate middle ear structures. The system consists of an internal and an external component.

Audio processor (External)

The audio processor is held onto the patient’s head with a magnet and can be worn discreetly underneath the hair. It consists of a battery, microphone and electronics responsible for digital signal processing. Sounds are picked up by the microphone of the audio processor and transmitted to the internal implant.

Implant (Internal)

The Vibrating Ossicular Prosthesis (VORP) implant is placed underneath the skin through surgery. It consists of a magnet to hold the audio processor over the implant and a Floating Mass Transducer (FMT) which is attached to the tiny bones (ossicles) of the middle ear.

How the Vibrant Soundbridge works

  • Sounds are picked up by the microphone of the audio processor, which converts the sound into electrical signals.
  • The signals are transmitted through the skin to the internal implant.
  • The FMT converts the electrical signals into mechanical vibrations that directly stimulate the ossicular chain, causing it to vibrate.
  • The vibrations are conducted to the inner ear and perceived as sound by the brain.

Candidacy Criteria

Candidacy criteria is based on audiological and medical investigations.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Individuals 18 years and above with mild to severe hearing loss. Type of hearing loss can be conductive, mixed or sensorineural.
  • Individuals who cannot be fitted with hearing aids or are dissatisfied with hearing aids, e.g. Craniofacial anomalies, unable to tolerate occlusion effect.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Individuals with chronic external ear and/or middle ear infections.
  • Individuals with progressive hearing loss.
  • Individuals who are not medically fit for surgery.

Credits: Med-El