How to look after your BCHI
The information below explains, how to keep your sound processor and the abutment in good condition.
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On completing the procedure your surgeon will place a healing cap and a sponge dressing over the implant site. This cap, together with the dressing, will be removed at your ENT review appointment 7 to14 days after the surgery when the soft tissue has healed (stitches are dissolvable).
If the healing cap falls off, just gently click it on again over the sponge dressing. If this is not done, then it may result in longer healing time because of increased swelling around the abutment.
Wash your hair on the day before coming to your ENT appointment. It is recommended that you use a medicated shampoo for the first few weeks after your dressing is removed.
When the healing cap has been removed, your skin may still be very sensitive so you should treat it gently. When cleaning the abutment always start by washing your hands.
You should then carefully wipe all the way around the abutment using a non-alcoholic wet wipe.
BCHD (Bone Conduction Hearing Device)
Use a dry cloth or baby wipe to clean the outside of your sound processor. Be sure to remove any dirt or entangled hair from the coupling.
The sound processor is not waterproof, so you should never use water or liquids to clean it. If the processor should accidentally get wet, open the battery door and let it dry out.
After the first few weeks you can start cleaning the outside of the abutment with the soft alcohol-free wipe. You can do this while taking a bath or shower using mild soap and plenty of warm water.
When you have finished bathing, use a strip of alcohol-free wet wipe to make sure that all debris has been removed. After you have cleaned the area, use a cotton swab to clean gently around and inside the abutment. A mirror might be helpful when cleaning this site. Never scratch the skin around the abutment with anything sharp.
Clean the snap coupling gently using a soft sound processor cleaning brush.
At least twice a week, cleanse your skin more thoroughly to remove any debris that may have accumulated. A good time to do this is while washing your hair, as any debris on the abutment may become softer and therefore easier to remove.
If you use a hot hair dryer after showering, take care not to point it towards the abutment for too long. This is to avoid heating up the abutment and implant. The cool setting on the hair dryer may be used.
Protecting your abutment
Whenever you are not wearing your sound processor you can protect the abutment using the press-on abutment cover provided with your sound processor. Wear it when sleeping and when you are having hair treatments.
During rough contact sports you can wear a sweatband over the abutment for additional protection.
Should you get any skin infection, inflammation, pain or any other problems with your abutment site or in the abutment please contact the ENT department on 01642 854033.
Ask to speak to one of our BCHI nurses for advice.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but
also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.