Trends in Intraoperative Testing During Cochlear Implantation

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Abstract

Objective:

No consensus guidelines exist regarding intraoperative testing during cochlear implantation and wide variation in practice habits exists. The objective of this observational study was to survey otologists/neurotologists to understand practice habits and overall opinion of usefulness of intraoperative testing.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional survey.

Setting:

A web-based survey was sent to 194 practicing Otologists/Neurotologists.

Main Outcome Measures:

Questions included practice setting and experience, habits with respect to electrodes used, intraoperative testing modalities used, overall opinion of intraoperative testing, and practice habits in various scenarios.

Results:

Thirty-nine of 194 (20%) completed the survey. For routine patients, ECAPs and EIs were most commonly used together (38%) while 33% do not perform testing at all. Eighty-nine percent note that testing “rarely” or “never” changes management. Fifty-one percent marked the most important reason for testing is the reassurance provided to the family and/or the surgeon.

Conclusion:

Intraoperative testing habits and opinions regarding testing during cochlear implantation vary widely among otologic surgeons. The majority of surgeons use testing but many think there is minimal benefit and that surgical decision-making is rarely impacted. The importance of testing may change as electrodes continue to evolve.

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