Objective: Active middle ear implants augment hearing in patients with sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing losses with great success. However, the application of active middle ear implants has been restricted to compromised ears in adults only. Recently, active middle ear implants have been successfully implanted in patients younger than 18 years of age with all types of hearing losses. The Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) active middle ear implant has been implanted in more than 60 children and adolescents worldwide by the end of 2008. In October 2008, experts from the field with experience in this population met to discuss VSB implantation in patients below the age of 18. Methods: A consensus meeting was organized including a presentation session of cases from worldwide centers and a discussion session in which implantation, precautions, and alternative means of hearing augmentation were discussed. At the end of the meeting, a consensus statement was written by the participating experts. The present consensus paper describes the outcomes and medical/surgical complications: the outcomes are favourable in terms of hearing thresholds, speech intelligibility in quiet and in noise, with a low incidence of intra- and postoperative complications. Conclusions: Taken together, the VSB offers another viable treatment for children and adolescents with compromised hearing. However, other treatment options should also be taken into consideration. The advantages and disadvantages of all possible treatment options should be weighed against each other in the light of each individual case to provide the best solution; counseling should include a.o. surgical issues and MRI compatibility.
|International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
|Number of pages
|Published - 01.11.2010