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Bone Anchored Hearing Innovations from Oticon Medical: Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS)

Laura Phelps, MS

February 8, 2016

Q & A with Laura Phelps, Director of Clinical Audiology, Oticon Medical


AudiologyOnline: Oticon Medical recently introduced MIPS-Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery and Abutment Extension.  What is Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS) and what is new about it? 


Laura Phelps: Ponto surgery with tissue preservation has been done for a few years now. Many physicians do use a “punch” incision with this technique. The entire field has been going towards a tissue preservation approach, which greatly improves cosmetics and patient outcomes—but this is even more minimally invasive. What this new MIPS surgery and surgical items provide are the first tools designed specifically to support and advance these great techniques, with the aim at making it easier and more safe for patients to get the best possible results. In short, Oticon Medical has made its own line of surgical tools that are tailor-made for the Ponto system.

When the surgical tools used are actually designed specifically for the system, it makes a huge difference in the procedure and the outcome. The procedure is a suture-free surgery that leaves no scarring and is designed to minimize post-op complications and deliver more improved cosmetic outcomes.

We’re seeing that professionals are really receptive of MIPS. A number of clinics throughout Europe participated in an evaluation of the procedure. The evaluation involved surgeons who currently perform BAHS surgery with the tissue preservation technique. We saw that 94% of the participating surgeons indicated that they would continue to use MIPS, and 87% reported that they believe the new surgical technique benefits patients.  You can see one of the survey questions as well as the surgeons' responses in Figure 1. 


Figure 1. Survey data from 21 surgeons across 15 centers (Holmberg, Johansson, & Hultcrantz, 2015).

We shared the story of a teen’s experience with MIPS, the first MIPS procedure done in North America actually, and you can see a video of her explaining what it was like here.

AudiologyOnline: What is the Abutment Extension?

Laura Phelps: The abutment extension completes our abutment family, and it’s all about increased flexibility. It adds an extra millimeter of length, and it could circumvent an additional surgery in many cases. It can make a big difference for patients who need to address certain problems.

AudiologyOnline: Why do you think these new innovations are exciting to the bone anchored hearing community? 

Laura Phelps: As for MIPS, this is the first time that a manufacturer has taken ownership of a procedure. We’re training surgeons with the tools, and working directly with surgeons to enhance their ability to do the procedure with less complications and better cosmetic outcomes. Taking ownership of the entire process means that Oticon Medical has made sure everything that goes into this procedure will provide the best results for the patient.  

Also, going back to what the surgery provides, it’s so minimally invasive that the hair cells can be preserved. The results are quite incredible.

The abutment extension provides a new quick, simple and cost effective solution for problems that patients face. It’s quite literally an extension that goes on top of an existing abutment. It can help with feedback issues and skin overgrowth.  It’s also a great solution for people who have grown or gained weight—they don’t have to have another surgery to get the abutment that works best for them. It’s a quick in-office procedure, which means that’s it’s easy for professionals to offer without repeated surgeries and multiple visits. That also means less time, cost and complexity for patients. As an audiologist, it gives me confidence that we’re creating more of the right opportunities for freedom of choice in bone anchored hearing.

AudiologyOnline:  Where can professionals find out more information about MIPS and Abutment Extension?

Laura Phelps: More information about MIPS can be found on our website,  Additionally, we have a video overview, as well as a CEU course on MIPS. Professionals can also contact their Oticon Medical account manager for more information.

AudiologyOnline: Great info!  Thanks for your time, Laura.  


Holmberg, M., Johansson M. L., & Hultcrantz, M. (2015). Bone anchored hearing implants installed with soft tissue preservation techniques. Poster presented at the Osseo, Lake Louise, Canada.


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laura phelps

Laura Phelps, MS

Clinical Specialist

Laura Phelps is currently a Clinical Specialist with Oticon Medical, manufacturer of a bone anchored hearing system.  Previous to this position, she worked as a clinical audiologist for over 20 years with clinical and teaching experience in various settings including a major urban hospital, a university and as Director of Audiology in a large ENT practice.  Most recently she has been involved in the manufacturing side of Audiology as a clinical educator with Bio-logic Systems Corporation/Natus (a manufacturer of screening and diagnostic Audiology equipment) and a Clinical Specialist with Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment.  She received her B.S. from Purdue University and her M.S. from Vanderbilt University.

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