Authors:Imre Gerlinger, Péter Bakó, Krisztina Somogyvári, Péter Móricz and József Pytel
Development of surgical treatment of otosclerotic stapes fixation is one of the success stories of otology during the past five decades. Nowadays not only stapedectomy and partial stapedectomy but stapedotomy can also be considered a well-established otological procedure.
To introduce this minimally invasive surgical technique into the Hungarian otolaryngology practice, to gain useful experiences, and to analyze the hearing improvements and postoperative complications.
The authors give account of their first clinical experiences with 14 patients with KTP laser assisted stapedotomies using the self-crimping Nitinol piston. A total of 14 patients (11 females, 3 males) who have undergone the procedure between March 2006 and April 2007 were reviewed. The average age of the patients was 42.2 years, 6 procedures were carried out on left ears and 8 on right ones. The average length of follow-up was 9 months (ranging from 6 weeks to 1 year).
Pure tone audiograms documented a hearing threshold improvement of 21.5 dB averaged across 0.5–1–2–3 kHz frequencies. The air-bone gap improvement averaged on the same frequencies was 18.7 dB. After an average 9 months postoperative follow-up period, the average air-bone gap was < 10 dB in 85% of the patients, however < 20 dB in 100% of the patients. As for the average air conduction result: it was < 30 dB in each patient except one. In this series, neither facial nerve paresis nor high frequency deterioration of the bone conduction thresholds was reported in the postoperative follow-up period.
Based on the authors’ favourable experiences and the review of the literature, KTP laser assisted stapedotomy with the use of Nitinol piston has several advantages: 1. the laser-activated memory effect of the piston prevents the disadvantages of the crimping manouvre made around the long process of the incus; 2. vertigo, experienced in the early postoperative period is milder and takes shorter time, reducing the length of hospitalisation; 3. the procedure is cost-effective and minimally-invasive; 4. application of KTP laser assures a bloodless operating field and minimal cochlear trauma; 5. migration of the prosthesis can be prevented, the degree of the surrounding granulation is less; 6. high frequency hearing improvement can be achieved on the long run; 7. the frequency and seriousness of complications are less, therefore this technique can be reccommended for unexperienced ear surgeons too; 8. the procedure can be used in difficult situations, too, e.g. in the presence of stapedial artery, obliterative otosclerosis, floating footplate, abnormal position of the facial nerve in the middle ear, revision cases; 9. the interindividual differences of hearing results are much less. Based on their favourable initial experiences, the authors plan to conduct a long-term follow-up on a greater number of patients.