Preoperative, operative and postoperative findings in 97 cases of labyrinthine fistula are presented.
Most of these patients had had symptoms of chronic otitis media for 20 years or more and manifested some degree of sensorineural hearing impairment. Two-thirds had experienced dizziness.
The fistula was limited to the lateral semicircular canal in 83 cases and involved the labyrinth more extensively in 14 instances. The intact canal wall technique was used in less than 60% and an open cavity technique in 25% of the cases.
Severe or total sensorineural hearing impairment developed postoperatively in 8% of the lateral canal cases and in over half of the extensive fistula cases. Five percent had incapacitating dizziness for up to six months postoperatively.
When a labyrinthine fistula is encountered in an only hearing ear we usually recommend a classical modified radical mastoidectomy. In other instances the procedure performed will vary with the status of the opposite ear, the extent of the fistula, the sensorineural function of the involved ear and the size of the mastoid.