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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 703256, 7 pages
Review Article

A Tutorial on Implantable Hearing Amplification Options for Adults with Unilateral Microtia and Atresia

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 6/F Clinical Science Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
2The Institute of Human Communicative Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3Division of Speech & Hearing Science, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 25 February 2014; Revised 19 April 2014; Accepted 20 April 2014; Published 2 June 2014

Academic Editor: Tsung-Lin Yang

Copyright © 2014 Joannie Ka Yin Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Patients with unilateral atresia and microtia encounter problems in sound localization and speech understanding in noise. Although there are four implantable hearing devices available, there is little discussion and evidence on the application of these devices on patients with unilateral atresia and microtia problems. Objective. This paper will review the details of these four implantable hearing devices for the treatment of unilateral atresia. They are percuteaneous osseointegrated bone anchored hearing aid, Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implant, Bonebridge bone conduction system, and Carina fully implantable hearing device. Methods. Four implantable hearing devices were reviewed and compared. The clinical decision process that led to the recommendation of a device was illustrated by using a case study. Conclusions. The selection of appropriate implantable hearing devices should be based on various factors, including radiological findings and patient preferences, possible surgical complications, whether the device is Food and Drug Administration- (FDA-)/CE-approved, and the finances. To ensure the accurate evaluation of candidacy and outcomes, the evaluation methods should be adapted to suite the type of hearing device.