Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
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About the Bonebridge implant

A brief overview of the Bonebridge surgery and patient reaction to activation.

Toronto woman undergoes bonebridge surgery

Interview with the second Canadian Bonebridge recipient & Dr. Vincent Lin »


The Bonebridge is a partially implantable hearing system that consists of an internal implant and an externally worn audio processor. The external audio processor is held in place above the implant by magnetic attraction.

The external processor receives sound and converts it into a signal that is transmitted through the skin to the internal implant. The internal implant is placed in the bone and converts the signal from the external processor into vibrations which are transmitted to the inner ear.

The components of the Bonebridge will be shown to you during your consultation with your audiologist.

Frequently asked questions about Bonebridge:

Who can the Bonebridge help?

The Bonebridge system can help individuals with conductive or mixed hearing loss. The Bonebridge can also provide benefit to those with single-sided deafness. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to be considered for implantation.

How can the Bonebridge help me?

For individuals with conductive or mixed hearing losses, the Bonebridge can overcome a loss of hearing due to the middle ear by stimulating the nerve of hearing directly.

For individuals with single-sided deafness, the Bonebridge can transfer sound from the poorer-hearing ear to the better-hearing ear.

Does the Bonebridge require a metal screw to protrude through my skin?

No, the Bonebridge hearing system does not require a metal abutment to protrude through your skin. The external sound processor is held in place by magnetic attraction to the internal implant. The skin remains fully intact and the internal component remains completely invisible under the skin.

Can I wash my hair after surgery?

You can wash your hair as directed by your surgeon. Each surgeon has his/her preferences, but typically you can wash your hair one week after surgery.

When will my Bonebridge be activated?

The external audio processor of your Bonebridge will be activated four to six weeks after surgery. It is important for the area to have healed fully before activation.

How much does the Bonebridge cost?

The implantable component of the Bonebridge is currently covered by hospital funding through the Ontario Ministry of Health.

The external audio processor is not covered, and costs approximately $6,000 including all fitting and dispensing fees. This full amount is the responsibility of the patient.

Can I receive funding from Ontario's Assistive Devices Program for the Bonebridge?

Currently, there is no funding available for the Bonebridge through Ontario's Assistive Devices Program.

Are there other sources of funding for the Bonebridge?

You may contact your private insurance provider to inquire about coverage for a Bonebridge hearing system. If you wish to submit a letter to your insurance company to support funding for your device, your audiologist will provide one upon request.

What is the warranty for the Bonebridge components?

The external audio processor comes with a three-year manufacturer's warranty from the day your processor is activated. The internal implant has a five-year warranty; however, you should consider the internal component to be a lifetime implant.

What happens if the Bonebridge processor needs repair?

All Bonebridge repairs required within the three-year warranty period are covered. You should speak with your audiologist to arrange all repairs that are under warranty.

Repairs required outside of the warranty period currently cost approximately $500 and include a 90-day warranty on the repair.

All repairs are completed by Union Hearing Aid Centre in Toronto.

Am I able to have the sound quality on my Bonebridge adjusted?

Yes, your Bonebridge processor can be re-programmed. You will need to make an appointment to see your audiologist for programming adjustments to your Bonebridge audio processor.

Can I try the Bonebridge before I make up my mind?

Because the Bonebridge is implanted, it is not possible to try it before your surgery. You will, however, be able to hear simulated benefits of the Bonebridge by trying a bone conduction headband during your consultation appointment with the audiologist or surgeon.

We are unable to allow clients to take the headband home to try for longer periods.

How many people have received a Bonebridge?

The Bonebridge was approved by Health Canada in April 2013, and Sunnybrook has been doing Bonebridge implants since May 2013. Ask your audiologist or surgeon for the current number of completed Bonebridge surgeries.

Is the Bonebridge compatible with my phone?

Yes, you can use a phone with the Bonebridge processor. The phone headset is simply placed over the audio processor.

Is the Bonebridge waterproof?

The audio processor is water-resistant but it is not waterproof. You should remove the processor before showering, bathing or swimming.

I have single-sided deafness, what are my other options?

If you have single-sided deafness, you can use a CROS (Contra-Lateral Routing of Sound) hearing aid system. This is a non-surgical technology that requires you to wear a hearing aid in each ear - a hearing aid transmitter in your poor ear and a hearing aid receiver in your better ear.

The success of this option depends on how good your hearing is in your better ear. You should not expect to have stereo hearing; only one hearing nerve will continue to process sound with a CROS.

How do I know if I am a candidate?

If you think that you may be a Bonebridge candidate, ask your family doctor to refer you to Dr. Joseph Chen, Dr. Julian Nedzelski, or Dr. Vincent Lin for assessment.

You may also contact Audiologist Julija Adamonis at julija.adamonis@sunnybrook.ca.

Once your referral is recieved, you will be scheduled for an audiogram to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a Bonebridge.

Location and contact

Department of Otolaryngology

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, 1st floor, room M1 102
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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