• Open Access

Vibroplasty in mixed and conductive hearing loss: Comparison of different coupling methods


  • c.a. and w.g. have received research grants from MED-EL.

  • The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



To evaluate modified coupling techniques of the Vibrant Soundbridge system in patients with mixed and conductive hearing loss and to compare it with conventional vibroplasty.

Study Design

Retrospective study.


Two different groups were evaluated: 1) nine cases of conventional incus vibroplasty in comparison with 2) nine patients with modified coupling of the floating mass transducer. In the modified coupling approach, the vibrant floating mass transducer was attached to 1) the stapes/oval window, 2) the round window, or 3) the drilled promontory bone (promontory fenestration window). In three patients, an additional ossiculoplasty was performed. Preoperative and postoperative aided and unaided pure-tone and free-field audiometry and Freiburg monosyllabic word test were used to assess hearing outcome.


Functional hearing gain obtained in patients with mixed and conductive hearing loss who underwent modified coupling was 39 dB. Patients with pure sensorineural hearing loss who received conventional incus coupling showed a functional hearing gain of 25 dB. Average functional gain was 41 dB in the oval window group, 45 dB in the round window group, and 30 dB in the promontory fenestration window group. Word recognition test revealed an average improvement of 51% and 21% in the modified and in the conventional approach, respectively.


Modified vibroplasty is a safe and effective treatment for patients with conductive and mixed hearing loss. Coupling the floating mass transducer to the promontory bone (promontory fenestration window) is a viable option in chronically disabled ears if oval and round window coupling is not possible.

Level of Evidence

4. Laryngoscope, 124:1436–1443, 2014