Endoscopic Ear Surgery for External Auditory Canal Cholesteatoma

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Abstract

Background:

Treatment of external auditory canal cholesteatoma (EACC) has been a question of debate. To our knowledge and according to a systematic review of endoscopic ear surgery (EES) in 2015, this study describes for the first time the technique and outcome by solely transcanal EES for EACC.

Study Method:

Retrospective case series, level of evidence IV.

Methods:

Between October 2014 and December 2016, nine patients with unilateral EACC have been treated by EES. Using a bimanual technique, canaloplasty has been performed using tragal perichondrium, cartilage, or artificial bone. Symptoms, signs, and reconstruction technique have been assessed and the primary endpoint: healing time was compared with benchmark values in the literature.

Results:

During the 26 months study period all of our nine Naim stage III EACCs were successfully treated by EES with median healing time of 23.8 days. EACC limited to the external auditory canal (Naim stage III) represented an ideal target for EES minimizing tissue damage and thus median healing time compared with retroauricular (42–56 d) or endaural (59 d) surgical techniques.

Discussion:

Shorter healing time helped to reduce skepticism toward a surgical treatment of EACC from the patient's perspective. Moreover, EES relied on reduced bulky equipment, dressing time, and complex maintenance compared with microscopic techniques.

Conclusion:

Transcanal endoscopic surgery is a valid treatment option for EACC up to Naim stage III. Moreover, the described procedure fosters in our eyes the teaching of our residence to get familiar with the basic steps of EES.

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