Hearing Results After Tympanoplasty Are Stable Short-term: A Prospective Database Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the short-term stability of postoperative hearing results after tympanoplasty.

Study Design:

Prospective database study.

Setting:

Tertiary referral center.

Patients:

1,367 cases of tympanoplasty I–IV were registered in the OTOKIR database between February 2004 and November 2013.

Intervention:

The authors included the 553 cases attending postoperative follow-ups at both 3 and 12 months.

Main Outcome Measure:

Analysis of the changes in pure-tone average of air conduction (AC), air-bone gap, and speech reception threshold and Word Recognition Score between follow-ups were performed.

Results:

The overall mean change between follow-ups was 0.7, 0.5, and 0.3 dB for the AC, air-bone gap, and speech reception threshold, respectively. A majority of cases (87.7%) had a change in AC of 10 dB or less, and only 7.6% of the tympanoplasty type I cases had a decrease in AC of more than 10 dB. Of the 1,367 cases registered, 47.5% of cases were lost to follow-up at 12 months.

Conclusion:

The changes in hearing results after tympanoplasty are minimal during 3 to 12 months after surgery. This suggests that 3-month results are as valid for reporting as 12-month results. In addition, a possible bias that compromises the validity of reported results is introduced at 12 months because half of the cases are lost to follow-up. Including results from 3-month postoperative follow-up when reporting on tympanoplasty could reduce bias in reporting and enable more centers to contribute valid results.

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