Transmeatal atticotomy, a common otosurgical procedure near the turn of the century, has since enjoyed only sporadic periods of popularity. An earlier report illustrated the efficacy of the atticotomy operation in ablating cholesteatoma in 83% of cases. However, die ossicular chain usually suffers discontinuity either through erosion by cholesteatoma or surgical disarticulation. In ears with an intact chain, the incudostapedial joint is usually separated to avoid injury that may be transmitted to the inner ear if the rotating burr contacts the ossicles.
The purpose of this paper is to portray the types of hearing restoration attempted and the results achieved in 55 patients who had an atticotomy procedure and had been followed for six months to eight years. The number of patients who attained serviceable hearing are compared to those that did not, with regard to such factors as the hearing level and state of the ossicles preoperatively as well as the extent of the surgery required for removal of the disease.
The hearing results in these patients who underwent atticotomy compare favorably to those cited in the literature for tympanoplasties done with the modified radical mastoidectomy or the intact canal wall tympanomastoidectomy.