European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology vol:270 issue:4 pages:1243-1248
The aim of this study was to describe the outcome and possible complications of subtotal petrosectomy (SP) for Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) device surgery in a tertiary referral center. A secondary objective was the evaluation of hearing results in a subgroup of subjects who received the VSB device. Between 2009 and early 2011, 22 adult subjects with chronic otitis media (COM) underwent a SP, blind sac closure of the external auditory canal and abdominal fat obliteration to facilitate the application of an active middle ear implant (AMEI) in a staged procedure. Indications consisted of mixed hearing loss after previous tympanomastoplasty and failure of hearing rehabilitation with a hearing aid or bone conduction device in COM. Pre- and postoperative pure-tone audiograms were analyzed in respect to deterioration of inner ear function, unaided and aided (hearing aid, bone-anchored hearing aid and VSB) speech audiograms were compared to verify improvements in communications skills and functional gains. Incidence and type of complications were reviewed. No significant change was observed regarding mean bone conduction thresholds after the first stage procedure. Some minor wound healing problems were noted. Speech perception using the VSB (n = 16) showed a mean aided speech discrimination at 65-dB SPL of 75 % [standard deviation (SD) 28.7], at 80-dB SPL of 90 % (SD 25.1). Our results suggest that for selected patients with open mastoid cavities and chronic middle ear disease, SP with abdominal fat obliteration is an effective and safe technique to facilitate safe AMEI placement.