Endoscopically Assisted Drilling, Exposure of the Fundus through a Presigmoid Retrolabyrinthine Approach: A Cadaveric Feasibility Study

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The presigmoid retrolabyrinthine approach to the cerebellopontine angle is traditionally described to not provide access to the internal auditory canal (IAC). We aimed to evaluate the extent of the IAC that could be exposed with endoscopically assisted drilling and to measure the percentage of the IAC that could be visualized with the microscope and various endoscopes after drilling had been completed. Presigmoid retrolabyrinthine approaches were performed bilaterally on 4 fresh cadaveric heads. We performed endoscopically assisted drilling to expose the fundus of the IAC, which resulted in exposure of the entire IAC in 8 of 8 temporal bone specimens. The microscope afforded a mean view of 83% (n = 8) of the IAC. The 0°, 30°, 45°, and 70° endoscope each afforded a view of 100% of the IAC in 8 of 8 temporal bone specimens. In conclusion, endoscopic drilling of the IAC of can provide an extradural means of exposing the entire length of the IAC while preserving the labyrinth.

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