Compassionate & Effective Hearing Loss Treatment
Hearing loss can significantly limit your child's quality of life. However, we offer several hearing loss treatment options, which can effectively restore your child's ability to hear, including canalplasty and bone conducting hearing devices. Dr. Russell H. Griffiths has been providing safe and successful ear reconstruction services for nearly 30 years at his practice in Boise, ID. Pairing customized treatment plans with compassionate care, Dr. Griffiths has transformed the lives of many local and international patients and their families.
During a canalplasty, an Otologist (a specially trained ENT surgeon) reconstructs the ear canal. Patients must be carefully screened with a preoperative temporal bone computed tomography (CT) scan and a special audiogram to determine if they are candidates for treatment. The basic goal of this operation is to create a canal through the temporal bone to expose the middle ear space. This area contains the small bones that normally conduct the sound from the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to the oval window of the cochlea.
During the procedure, Dr. Griffiths can harvest a thin graft of fascia from the temporal muscle and use it to create the tympanic membrane. He can then harvest skin grafts to line the walls of the new canal. Finally, Dr Griffiths can connect the skin grafts to the rest of the reconstructed ear, including the conchal bowl and tragus (the small bump of cartilage in front of the ear canal at the edge of the cheek).
At what age can my child's hearing be surgically corrected?
When your child is five years of age or older, they can be evaluated for either a canalplasty (opening the ear canal), or changing the soft band for an abutment, or an implanted magnet (to hold the sound amplification device against your child's head rather than the softband). It is important that your child's otologist and microtia surgeon work together on the proper timing of surgery.
Pairing customized treatment plans with compassionate care, Dr. Griffiths has transformed the lives of many local and international patients and their families.
If you are interested in canalplasty for your child, surgeons who use rib graft need to complete the ear reconstruction first before the canalplasty to avoid preliminary scarring. Most medpor surgeons, on the other hand, are cognizant of the increased risk of infection of the implant with secondary canalplasty, so they may want you to have the canalplasty first and outer ear reconstruction afterwards.
Surgical Care with Dr. Griffiths
Dr. Griffiths is unique and unlike other microtia surgeons, your child can have his or her hearing restoration surgery at the same time as the outer ear reconstruction (One-Stage Microtia Atresia Reconstruction). While Dr. Griffiths is sculpting and assembling the ear framework (whether it be out of rib cartilage or Medpor), our otologist can reconstruct their ear canal, or place a hearing device abutment or magnet at the same time. Performing both procedures simultaneously produces better aesthetics and lowers the risk for canal stenosis.
Minimizing the Risk of Canal Stenosis
After the ear canal is reconstructed, there is a risk that it can contract and close up again (stenosis). Some authors place this risk between 50 and 60 percent. Dr. Griffiths and our otologist have modified the operation and the postoperative care protocol to reduce our risk to below 10 percent.
Actual Patient Results
Bone Conducting Hearing Devices
We offer several bone conducting hearing device options, including:
- Cochlear®: Cochlear offers two systems, the Baha connect system and the Baha attract system. The Baha connect system uses a titanium implant that is implanted into the skull bone behind the ear with an abutment that protrudes through the skin. The sound processor then attaches to the abutment. The Baha attract system uses a magnetic implant that is placed under the scalp behind the ear. The sound processor then magnetically adheres to the scalp.
Cochlear implantable device
- Oticon Medical Ponto Pro: The Ponto Pro sound processor uses a titanium implant placed in the skull bone behind the ear. An abutment then protrudes through the scalp. The sound processor then snaps onto the abutment.
- Medtronic Sophono™ Alpha 2 MPO™ Processor: The Sophono sound processor is an abutment free attract system. We can surgically place two small magnets in the skull bone behind the ear under the scalp. The sound processor then magnetically adheres to the scalp without an abutment.
Patients who choose the Cochlear connect system or the Oticon Pronto Pro might be candidates to have the abutment placed at the same time that their ear is reconstructed and the titanium implant placed in the skull bone behind the ear. Others will need a second simple procedure to place the abutment three to six months later by a qualified physician close to their home town. Our Otologist will recommend which will be best for you.
All three sound processor options will require programming to you or your child’s specific decibel hearing deficiency by a qualified audiologist. We can help make arrangements for this service prior to your surgery.
Placing the Hearing Device
The bone conducting hearing device can be placed at the same time as the microtia surgery. If you or your child is not a candidate for a canalplasty you have the option of having a bone conducting hearing device abutment or magnet placed by our Otologist at the same time that Dr. Griffiths performs his one stage reconstruction of the outer ear. You will have the opportunity to meet with our Otologist before your surgery so you can review hearing device options and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Providing the Highest Quality Hearing Loss Treatments
Dr. Griffiths and his team work together to provide your family with a positive experience and the best possible results. We understand the significance of hearing loss treatment and the impact it can have on your child's future. We handle this responsibility with the utmost professionalism and complete every procedure with your child's best interests in mind. If you believe your child may benefit from ear reconstruction or a bone conducting hearing device, please contact us online or call (208) 433-1736 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Griffiths can accommodate both local and long-distance patients.
“My son is experiencing a happiness and a confidence that I have never seen before. You have taken away a big, big hurt...Thank you for making my son happy.” Michael, Father of a Former Patient