OBJECTIVE: The study shows the long-term effectiveness, safety, and quality of life after Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) implantation in sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) using the short process coupler (SP) or the long process coupler (LP).
METHODS: This retrospective study evaluated 77 VSB cases. Follow-up (F/U) time-dependent objective measurements (audiological outcomes), subjective data collection (quality-of-life questionnaire), and safety measures are presented.
RESULTS: Sixty-two ears were included in the analysis with up to 116 months of postsurgical F/U data (mean 32.15 ± 37.97 months LP and SP coupler). Fifty-three ears (13 bilateral cases) received the LP coupler and 9 subjects the SP coupler. The post-operative bone conduction thresholds remained stable and, in both groups, <10 dB. The benefit in word recognition scores measured at 65 dB SPL and 80 dB SPL showed no significant difference between the couplers (p = 0.559 and p = 0.088, respectively). The functional gain was not significantly different (p > 0.05) with a mean of 20.91 ± 9.77 and 17.19 ± 5.75 for LP and SP coupler, respectively. The utility score deciphered from the Assessment of Quality-of-life Questionnaire-8 dimensions revealed a mean score of 0.75 ± 0.16 which is not significantly different to the age- and sex-matched healthy control group with 0.81 ± 0.02 (p = 0.3547).
CONCLUSION: The Incus Vibroplasty utilizing both couplers is a safe and effective method to treat mild-to-severe SNHL. Both fixation methods of the floating mass transducer exhibit good clinical and audiological outcomes with high patient quality of life. The SP coupling method can be a good alternative when the long process is anatomically inaccessible, or the approach is limited due to anatomical reasons.
- Hearing Loss, Mixed Conductive-Sensorineural
- Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/surgery
- Ossicular Prosthesis
- Quality of Life
- Retrospective Studies
- Treatment Outcome