Objective: To evaluate the benefit of a preoperative three-dimensional (3D) planning tool for surgically placing the bone conduction floating mass transducer (BC-FMT) of the Bonebridge (BB) bone conduction implant.
Patients: Adult patients (n = 5) and one pediatric patient (n = 1) with conductive or mixed hearing loss caused by chronic ear disease, malformation, or single-sided deafness.
Intervention(s): Development of a preoperative planning tool that allowed free adjustment of the implant in an individual 3D model of the skull to evaluate completely fitting the BC-FMT into a bony bed and to identify an optimal implant position. Implantation of the BB with mastoid or retrosigmoid placement after individual preoperative planning and "virtual surgery".
Main outcome measures: Feasibility of the preoperative 3D planning process, transfer into the intraoperative situation, and audiologic results after BB implantation.
Results: Individual preoperative planning was considered beneficial especially in cases of small mastoid bone volume, for example, because of previous canal wall down mastoidectomies, and in the case with malformation.
Conclusion: For optimal placement of the BC-FMT of the BB, preoperative 3D planning is recommended especially in primarily small poorly pneumatized mastoids, hypoplastic mastoids in malformations, reduced bone volume after canal wall down mastoidectomy, or the small mastoids in children. Effort should be made to reduce segmentation and surgical planning time by means of automation.