The effect of preserved stapedial superstructure on hearing improvement
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Introduction: Ossiculoplasty can be carried out in a number of ways, depending on the anatomical and functional conditions encountered during otosurgery and the experience of a given centre. The extent of damage to the ossicular chain determines the reconstruction method. Aim: The objective of the study was to analyse treatment effects in terms of postoperative hearing improvement in patients with chronic otitis media, with a particular emphasis on stapedial superstructure preservation. Material and method: The records of 294 consecutive patients undergoing their first ENT surgery due to chronic otitis media at the Department of Otolaryngology of Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University of Kraków in 2009–2013 were analysed. In order to assess the role of preserved stapedial superstructure, 96 patients were eligible for further analysis. Results: The analysis points to a significant hearing improvement after ossiculoplasty with the preserved stapedial superstructure as compared with the patients after footplate mobilisation. On the other hand, the research results point to significantly smaller hearing improvement in those patients, in whom only stapes was preserved, as compared with those, in whom a more extensive reconstruction of the ossicular chain was possible. Conclusions: The air-bone gap measured before otosurgery often fails to reflect the extent of abnormalities and cannot, therefore, be considered as the only prognostic factor for postoperative hearing improvement. Stapes preservation is crucial for hearing improvement after middle ear surgery.
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