The use of full-thickness skin grafts for the skin-abutment interface around bone-anchored hearing aids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To review the complication rate encountered with the use of full-thickness skin grafts to establish the skin-abutment interface around bone-anchored hearing aid implants. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Fifteen patients who underwent bone-anchored hearing aid placement over a 4-year period. Intervention: Each percutaneous titanium implant and abutment was placed into the temporal bone following the standard Branemark technique. Eight procedures were performed in two stages, and seven were performed as single-stage procedures. In all cases, the skin-abutment interface was established by use of a full-thickness skin graft inset around the implant. Main Outcome Measures: The incidence of complications resulting in skin graft loss, time from implantation to bone-anchored hearing aid use, additional procedures for revision of the interface, and complicating medical factors in the patient population. Results: Seven patients (46.7%) experienced loss of the full-thickness skin graft around the abutment. Four of these seven had complicating medical factors associated with impaired wound healing: two with diabetes mellitus, one of whom was also a smoker, and two patients who were receiving inhaled steroids for treatment of asthma. Of the seven patients who lost skin grafts, two healed by secondary intention, two underwent repeated full-thickness skin grafting, and three underwent galeal rotation flaps with split-thickness skin grafting, one of which eventually required a scalp flap. No patient experienced loss of the implant. Conclusion: The use of full-thickness skin grafts for establishment of the skin-abutment interface around bone-anchored hearing aid implants is associated with a high rate of graft loss. Although salvage techniques can successfully establish the interface after skin graft failure, alternative methods should be considered, especially in high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Keywords

  • Bone-anchored hearing aid
  • Percutaneous implant
  • Skin graft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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