Surgical-handling properties of the titanium prosthesis in ossiculoplasty

March 1, 2005
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Abstract
Despite the wide variety of ossiculoplasty techniques that are available, success rates are limited. Current use indicates that surgeons prefer ceramic, autograft bone, and plastic pore prostheses. During the past decade, titanium prostheses have been used with great promise. Although their use is not widespread, satisfaction rates are high. An earlier study of ossiculoplasty showed that titanium prostheses were effective in reducing conductive hearing loss. To date, the surgical-handling attributes of titanium middle ear prostheses have not been assessed. We report the results of our survey of 32 otologic surgeons who used the open Tübingen titanium prosthesis for primary and revision ossiculoplasty during tympanoplasty in 400 patients at 12 academic and nonacademic otolaryngology clinics, most of them in Germany. Because the audiometric efficacy of titanium prostheses has been previously reported, our primary outcomes measures included ease of use with respect to the amount of time required to prepare the implants for placement and the surgeons' overall impression of the intraoperative handling characteristics of the implants, taking into consideration factors such as positioning, length adjustment, visibility, and the stability of the coupling. Surgeons also compared the properties of the titanium implant with those of gold, ceramic, and autograft implants that they had used in the past. Based on the results of 383 of the 400 ossiculoplasties, our survey revealed that the titanium implant was significantly superior to the others in all measured respects.

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