Long-term Complications and Surgical Failures After Ossiculoplasty

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Abstract

Objective:

To study long-term complications after ossiculoplasty.

Study Design:

Case series with chart review.

Setting:

Tertiary care referral center otology practice.

Patients:

One hundred ninety-five patients (18–88 yr of age) undergoing ossiculoplasty with tympanoplasty or tympanomastoidectomy using cartilage tympanic membrane grafts, retrograde mastoidectomy with canal wall reconstruction, or mastoid obliteration techniques between July 1998 and July 2012. The studied patients all had at least 3 years of clinical follow-up.

Outcome Measures:

Incidence of long-term complications, including need for revision surgery, need for secondary ventilation tube placement, recurrence of conductive hearing loss (and related etiologies), recurrent cholesteatoma, and delayed graft failure (recurrent tympanic membrane perforation).

Results:

Long-term complications were observed in 10.3% (20/195) of patients. 8.2% (16/195) required revision surgery, 10.2% (17/195) required secondary ventilation tube placement, 3.6% (7/195) experienced recurrence of conductive hearing loss, 4.1% (8/195) had delayed failure of tympanic membrane graft, and 1.5% (3/195) had recurrence of cholesteatoma. Recurrence of conductive hearing loss was caused by the displacement of prosthesis in 3 of 7 patients and extensive scar tissue formation without prosthesis displacement in 4 of 7 patients. Seventy-two percent obtained a postoperative pure-tone average - air-bone gap  < 20 dB. Forty-eight percent (93/195) obtained a hearing result worse than expected based on the ossiculoplasty outcome parameter staging index.

Conclusion:

Long-term complications are a significant consideration in all the patients undergoing ossiculoplasty. Our data suggest that tobacco smoking, Eustachian tube dysfunction, and an unexpectedly poor hearing result on the first postoperative audiogram are all important risk factors for the development of significant complications.

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