implant surgery - titanium screw fixation saves time in the OR, is safe, cost-effective, and provides stability to the device during the healing period
Titanium screw fixation is safe and efficient way to stabilize the cochlear implant receiver-stimulator against the skull (Lee DJ, Driver M., Laryngoscope. 2005 May;115(5):910-1). We use self-tapping, self-drilling screws - 3mm in length for infants and 4mm in length for older children and adults. This technique saves 10-15 minutes in the operating room, avoids trauma to the dura and overlying soft tissue seen when using conventional tie-down holes that are drilled on either side of the well, and results in a very stable, secure placement of the cochlear implant. The nominal cost of two screws is offset by the time-savings in the OR.
This technique also allows the surgery to be performed via a tiny incision behind the ear using carefully and gently placed skin retractors and well-designed muscle flaps.