Incidence of secretory otitis media following maxillectomy

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the incidence and characteristics of secretory otitis media after maxillectomy procedures.

Study design.

Retrospective chart analysis was performed with the cases of 49 patients who underwent maxillectomy for tumor in the Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery between the years 1990 and 1996.


In 10 patients (20%), secretory otitis media manifested itself from 1 week to 6 months after surgery; 1 patient developed a central perforation with chronic otitis media. Nearly one third of patients who underwent total maxillectomy had secretory otitis media. Six patients (8 ears) required insertion of ventilation tubes.


Patients undergoing total and partial maxillectomies are prone to occurrences of secretory otitis media. Insertion of ventilation tubes easily resolves the problem. Preoperative and routine postoperative patient follow-up should always include otoscopy and audiometry, and tympanometry should be performed when warranted.

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