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Northwick Park performs first bone bridge implant in North-West London

People with hearing loss are up to five times as likely to be affected by dementia in later years due to the increased likelihood of depression and social isolation. Northwick Park Hospital surgeon Bhav Patel is advocating for more support for those unable to use traditional hearing aids.

In a significant medical advancement, the first bone bridge implant has been completed at the hospital in north-west London. This device bypasses damaged parts of the ear, sending sounds directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull.

Patient Danuta Bukanska, a 26-year-old nurse from Hemel Hempstead, chose to be treated at Northwick Park after learning about Bhav Patel’s work. Born with an underdeveloped right ear, Bukanska faced partial deafness and was unsuitable for a metal implant due to the risk of skin infection.

Northwick Park performs first bone bridge implant in North-West London Harrow Online
Image: London North West University Healthcare NHS trust

“I wasn’t properly diagnosed growing up in Poland but knew something wasn’t right and family and friends often tapped me on the right shoulder to get my attention,” said Bukanska.

“I just learned to get by and most people wouldn’t even realise that my hearing in that ear is pretty much non-existent.”

Bhav Patel commented, “The procedure was completed within an hour and the patient allowed home the same day. We’d estimate around 30 patients having this life changing procedure every year.”

The trust is currently awaiting approval from its local integrated care board to fund future bone bridge implants, with four additional patients identified as suitable for the procedure.

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