Hearing Loss Due to Myringotomy and Tube Placement and the Role of Preoperative Audiograms

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Abstract

Background

Postoperative complications of myringotomy and tube placement often include otorrhea, tympanosclerosis, and tympanic membrane perforation. However, the incidence of sensorineural or conductive hearing loss has not been documented. Recent efforts to curb the use of preoperative audiometric testing requires documentation of this incidence.

Objective

To define the incidence of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss associated with myringotomy and tube placement.

Materials and Methods

A retrospective chart review of 550 patients undergoing myringotomy and tube placement was performed. A total of 520 patients undergoing 602 procedures (1204 ears), including myringotomy and tube placement, were assessed for preoperative and postoperative sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

Results

No patient developed a postoperative sensorineural or conductive hearing loss. All patients resolved their conductive hearing loss after myringotomy and tube placement. There was a 1.3% incidence of preexisting sensorineural hearing loss.

Conclusions

The incidence of sensorineural or conductive hearing loss after myringotomy and tube placement is negligible and the use of preoperative audiometric evaluation may be unnecessary in selected patients, but further studies need to be done to corroborate this small data set.

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