Implantable Hearing Devices

Including Cochlear Implants, Bone Conduction implants and Middle ear implants

Implantable Hearing Aids

These are hearing aids that are surgically implanted devices and are used in combination with an outer device connected with the implanted device either through a magnet or a clip through the skin. They range from Cochlear Implants, Bone Conduction implants to Middle ear implants. Let’s explore each of these implantable hearing aid devices further.

Cochlear Implants

Used when the inner ear hearing is so poor that a patient no longer gets usable speech understanding with the best possible hearing aid. Click to read more about Cochlear Implants.

Bone Conduction Implants

Bone conduction implants are designed to augment the remaining hearing of the ear if typically if the patient cannot wear a conventional hearing aid such as due to a chronically discharging or diseased outer ear. Sometimes, if the patient has no hearing in one side, they may also be used to channeling hearing from the deaf side to the hearing ear so the patient will be aware of sound sensation in the deaf side, though they won’t be aware which side its coming from.

Increasingly, in Australia the latter scenario is being treated with Cochlear Implants as unlike Bone Conduction Implants, Cochlear Implants have the ability to restore hearing to the deaf side, thus restoring the ability to understand what direction sound is coming from rather than just be aware that the sound is present.

Although new devices are constantly being developed, Bone conduction hearing aids can be active or non-active.

Some examples of non-active Bone Conduction Implants include the BAHA (Cochlear ltd) which comes in a form that needs the device to be clipped on to a screw through the skin that attaches to the skull bone (BAHA Connect) or a device that sits under the skin and communicates to the external device through a magnet (BAHA Attract). These can be used non-surgically as well such as with a soft band or the sound arc (Cochlear Ltd) or adhesive retained (AdHEAR, Medel, Austria)

Active implants—another type of Bone Conduction device—use more sophisticated sound conduction that overcomes the loss of power through the skin. Options include the BoneBridge (Medel, Austria) and also the OSIA (Cochlear Ltd, Australia). This device is an active implant that sits under the skin, but is surgically implanted in the bone behind the ear. The outer device (which has a low profile) is worn on the skin behind the ear and again communicates to the internal device through a magnet.

Middle Ear Implants:

Middle Ear Implants such as the Vibrant Sound Bridge are suited for patients who have aidable hearing  which is too good for a Cochlear Implant but too severe for a Bone Conduction Implant and cannot wear a conventional hearing aid due to a diseased outer ear.

Assoc Prof Mukherjee’s Implantable Hearing Aids Papers


1: Mukherjee P, Cheng K. 3D printing and Virtual Surgical Planning in Complex BoneBridge cases. Virtual and Physical Prototyping. 2018; 14(1):1-6.

2: Mukherjee P, Kai Cheng, Sean Flanagan, Simon Greenberg. Utility of 3D printed temporal bones in pre-surgical planning for complex Bone-Bridge cases. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. 2017; 274 (8): 3021-28.

Feel free to contact our team for further information or to arrange an appointment.