A direct drive system provides mechanical energy directly to the ossicles, bypassing the ear canal and the tympanic membrane. The Floating Mass Transducer™ of the Soundbridge mechanically stimulates the ossicles, mimicking the natural hearing process. This eliminates many of the inherent issues of conventional hearing aids such as occlusion, feedback, discomfort, and the need for ear wax-related repairs.
It also provides a measurable improvement in sound quality and clarity. Many patients also report improvement in noisy environments compared to conventional hearing aids.
Who It Helps
- Adults, 18 years of age or older
- Moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss
- Unsuccessful with, or medically unable to wear, conventional hearing aids. (Prior to receiving the device, it is recommended that an individual have experience with appropriately fit hearing aids.)
- Normal middle ear function
Overview of Surgical Procedure and Postoperative Care
The internal device is surgically implanted during an outpatient (same day) surgical procedure. The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia and takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete. The VORP™ is implanted under the skin in back of the ear, and the FMT™ is attached to the long process of the incus during the procedure. The middle ear structures are not modified. Therefore, there is no significant impact on the residual hearing of the patient. The risks of surgery are similar to that of routine ear surgery. After a few days of rest, the patient can resume normal activities.
Eight weeks after the procedure, the patient is fitted with the external audio processor that attaches magnetically in back of the ear. The patient’s audiologist then performs the fitting, programming and ongoing care of the audio processor.
Vibrating Ossicular Prosthesis (VORP Internal Implant