Surgery

Thiersch skin grafting in otologic surgery

August 21, 2013     Helen Xu, MD; Natasha Pollak, MD, MS; and Michael M. Paparella, MD
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Abstract

Thiersch skin grafting is an old but highly effective surgical technique in otology. We frequently place a Thiersch graft after otologic procedures that either create a mastoid cavity or result in reduced skin coverage of a portion of the external auditory canal. The purpose of this article is to introduce this surgical technique to a new generation of otologists. We discuss its indications, the surgical technique, tips for a successful outcome, and postoperative care. A key to successful skin grafting is to perform the procedure about 10 days after the primary procedure to allow sufficient time for the formation of an adequate vascular bed at the recipient site. The goal in all cases is to achieve a safe, dry ear that is covered with keratinizing squamous epithelium. Thiersch grafting accomplishes this very well.

Mummified leiomyoma of the midline anterior neck: Case report and literature review

August 21, 2013     Jacob Minor, MD; Mona Rizeq, MD; and Todd Wine, MD
article

Abstract

Leiomyomas are benign smooth-muscle tumors that have only rarely been reported in the head and neck. Extensive calcification (mummification) is occasionally seen in deep somatic soft-tissue leiomyomas, which represent a rare subtype. We describe a case of mummified leiomyoma of the soft tissues of the midline anterior neck in a 31-year-old man. His tumor was successfully managed with surgical excision. To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the only description of a mummified leiomyoma at this particular site and the first reported case of any leiomyoma at this site in more than 50 years. We also review the literature concerning leiomyomas of the head and neck, their subtypes, diagnostic and management considerations, and outcomes.

Multilevel treatment of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea with bone-anchored pharyngeal suspension sutures

August 21, 2013     Eric E. Berg, MD; Frederick Bunge, MD; and John M. DelGaudio, MD
article

Abstract

Success rates for the surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) vary, with phase I surgical success ranging from 40 to 75%. Pharyngeal suspension suture procedures are minimally invasive techniques with a reported efficacy of 20 to 78%. We conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of pharyngeal suspension suture procedures in conjunction with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) as a multilevel treatment for OSA. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 30 adults-22 men and 8 women, with a mean age of 49 years and a mean BMI of 30.6-who were treated at a tertiary care academic medical center and a private otolaryngology practice. All patients had moderate or severe OSA, and all had failed continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Of this group, 20 patients underwent tongue base and hyoid suspension (TBHS) and 10 underwent tongue base suspension (TBS) alone; 23 patients had undergone concurrent or previous UPPP, 13 in the TBHS group and all 10 in the TBS group. Polysomnography was performed an average of 3.9 months postoperatively. Surgical success was defined as a reduction in respiratory distress index (RDI) of more than 50% and a postoperative RDI of 20 or less. The overall surgical success rate was 63% (19/30). In the surgical success group, the mean RDI fell from 44.6 to 9.4 (p < 0.0001); in the surgical failure group, the mean RDI rose from 41.3 to 48.9 (p = 0.58). There were 6 complications: 3 seromas, 2 suture breaks, and 1 dislodged screw. We conclude that pharyngeal suspension suture procedures as part of the multilevel treatment of moderate and severe OSA yields better outcomes than conventional surgical treatments with the added benefit of being minimally invasive.

Iatrogenic epiglottic inversion during intubation

August 21, 2013     Adam Rourke, DO and Adam Rubin, MD
article

The otolaryngologist must recognize when the epiglottis is inverted or risk inserting the laryngoscope too far and traumatizing the vocal folds.

Post-thyroidectomy early serum ionic calcium level: Predictor of prolonged hypocalcemia

August 21, 2013     Sanjana V. Nemade, MS, FCPS(ENT) and Atul P. Chirmade, MS
article

Abstract

One of the more common complications of thyroid surgery is postoperative hypocalcemia, which is potentially serious. Its clinical manifestations range from minimal twitching to life-threatening tetany. Affected patients might require a prolonged hospital stay and supplementation with calcium and vitamin D. In cases of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia, it is not always easy to predict which patients will require close monitoring of serum calcium levels. We conducted a study to determine whether early (<24 hr) measurement of serum ionic calcium (SiCa) levels can predict the development of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia. We retrospectively analyzed the charts of 150 adults (144 women and 6 men) who had undergone total or partial thyroidectomy, and we identified 42 patients (all women) who had either transient (<1 mo; n = 27) or prolonged (1 to 6 mo; n = 15) temporary hypocalcemia. We found that the patients who turned out to have prolonged hypocalcemia had significantly lower early levels of SiCa than did the patients who later developed only transient hypocalcemia (p = 0.000002). Also, patients with prolonged hypocalcemia had a significantly higher incidence of serious sequelae, including carpopedal spasms and signs of tetany. We conclude that early measurement of SiCa is a reliable predictor of prolonged temporary hypocalcemia following total or partial thyroidectomy.

Using a capsule flap for the reconstruction of a partial auricular defect

July 21, 2013     Barsil Keklik, MD; Memet Yazar, MD; Karaca Basaran, MD; Erdem Guven, MD; Samet Vasfi Kuvat, MD
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Abstract

In this article we describe the capsular flap for covering the posterior surface of cartilaginous framework in ear reconstruction. This technique has not been previously described in the published literature.

Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumolabyrinth plus pneumocephalus as complications of middle ear implant and cochlear implant surgery

July 21, 2013     Brian J. McKinnon, MD, MBA; Tamara Watts, MD, PhD
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Abstract

We conducted a retrospective case review at a tertiary academic medical center for the complications of pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus and subcutaneous emphysema after surgery for middle ear and cochlear implants. Charts of 76 cochlear implant and 2 middle ear implant patients from January 2001 through June 2009 were reviewed. We identified 1 cochlear implant recipient with pneumolabyrinth and pneumocephalus, and 1 middle ear implant recipient with subcutaneous emphysema. Surgical exploration was performed for the pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus; the subcutaneous emphysema was managed conservatively. The patient with the cochlear implant, who had had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt placed, experienced pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus 6 years after uneventful surgery. Middle ear exploration revealed no residual fibrous tissue seal at the cochleostomy. The middle ear and cochleostomy were obliterated with muscle, fat, and fibrin glue. The ventriculoperitoneal shunt was deactivated, with clinical and radiographic resolution. On postoperative day 5, the patient who had undergone the middle ear implant reported crepitance over the mastoid and implant device site after repeated Valsalva maneuvers. Computed tomography showed air surrounding the internal processor. A mastoid pressure dressing was applied and the subcutaneous emphysema resolved. These 2 cases support the importance of recognizing the clinical presentation of pneumolabyrinth with associated pneumocephalus, as well as subcutaneous emphysema. Securing the internal processor, adequately sealing the cochleostomy, and providing preoperative counseling regarding Valsalva maneuvers and the potential risk of cochlear implantation in the presence of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt may prevent adverse sequelae.

Relief from cluster headaches following extraction of an ipsilateral infected tooth

June 11, 2013     Matthew R. Hoffman, PhD; and Timothy M. McCulloch, MD
article

Abstract

A 60-year-old man with a 7-year history of cluster headaches was seen by an oral surgeon for evaluation of pain in the left upper second molar ipsilateral to the side affected by the headaches. During extraction of the tooth, infection, decay, and inflammation were discovered. Since the extraction in November 2008, the patient has experienced one episode of cluster headaches as of April 2013.

Facial nerve preservation in total parotidectomy for parotid tumors: A review of 27 cases

June 11, 2013     Soliman El-Shakhs, MD; Yaser Khalil, MD; and Asmaa Gaber Abdou, MD
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Abstract

We conducted a study to evaluate the success of facial nerve preservation in 27 adults with a parotid tumor who underwent total parotidectomy. Of this group, 11 patients had a malignant tumor, 10 had a recurrent benign tumor, and 6 had a primary benign tumor. Preoperatively, 7 patients had facial nerve paresis. Postoperatively, facial nerve preservation was achieved in all but 1 case; in the exception, the nerve was sacrificed and grafting was necessary. In conclusion, facial nerve preservation can be achieved in almost all cases of total parotidectomy.

Outcomes following ossicular chain reconstruction with composite prostheses: Hydroxyapatite-polyethylene vs. hydroxyapatite-titanium

June 11, 2013     Yoav Hahn, MD; and Dennis I. Bojrab, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a retrospective study to compare the results of ossicular chain reconstruction (OCR) with two types of composite prosthesis: a hydroxyapatite-polyethylene (HAPEX) implant and a hydroxyapatite-titanium (HATi) prosthesis. We reviewed the records of 222 patients-104 males and 118 females, aged 8 to 79 years (mean: 39.7)-who had undergone OCR for ossicular chain dysfunction and who met our eligibility criteria. In addition to demographic data and the type of prosthesis, we compiled information on pre- and postoperative audiometric findings, the underlying diagnosis, the timing of surgery (primary, planned, or revision), the type of surgery (tympanoplasty alone, tympanoplasty with antrotomy, intact-canal-wall tympanomastoidectomy, or canal-wall-down tympanomastoidectomy), the extent of reconstruction (partial or total), the use of the malleus, the use of a tragal cartilage graft, and evidence of extrusion. Of the 222 patients, 46 had undergone insertion of either a partial (n = 36) or total (n = 10) ossicular replacement prosthesis (PORP and TORP, respectively) made with HAPEX, and 176 had received a PORP (n = 101) or TORP (n = 75) made with HATi. Postoperatively, the mean air-bone gap (ABG) was 14.0 dB in the HAPEX group and 14.7 dB in the HATi group, which was not a significant difference (p = 0.61). Postoperative success (ABG ≤20 dB) with PORP was obtained in 30 of the 36 patients in the HAPEX group (83.3%) and in 87 of the 101 patients in the HATi group (86.1%), while success with TORP was achieved in 7 of 10 HAPEX patients (70.0%) and 56 of 75 HATi patients (74.7%); there was no significant difference in either PORP or TORP success rates between the HAPEX and HATi groups (p = 0.32). A significantly better hearing result was obtained when the malleus was used in reconstruction (p = 0.035), but the use of tragal cartilage led to a significantly worse outcome (p = 0.026). Revision surgery was associated with a significantly worse postoperative result (p = 0.034). Prosthesis extrusion was observed in 9.0% of all cases. The two types of composite assessed in this study yielded similar results in terms of functional hearing and stability, but the HATi prosthesis had some significant advantages. For example, it was associated with more cases in which the ABG closed to less than 10 dB. In addition, because of its thinner stem and lower profile, it can be used in situations that are not possible with the HAPEX implant.

Double deep inferior epigastric arteries encountered during vertical rectus abdominis flap harvest: A case report and literature review

June 11, 2013     Thomas K. Chung, MA; Keith Wilson, MD; and Yash J. Patil, MD
article

Abstract

The rectus abdominis flap offers a number of advantages over other flaps used in head and neck reconstruction. The flap can be harvested by a separate team and can be tailored to include skin, muscle, and fat. In addition, the available vascular pedicle is long and its large caliber provides an appropriate size match with recipient neck vessels. Central to reconstructive success is defining an arterial and venous pedicle that provides balanced perfusion to all components of the flap. Anomalous vascular anatomy presents principal challenges in reestablishing free flap perfusion. We present a case of double, right deep inferior epigastric arteries encountered during vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap reconstruction of the tongue and floor of the mouth and discuss the clinical outcomes of this reconstruction.

Endoscopic view of the posterior septal branch of the sphenopalatine artery

April 17, 2013     Jae Hoon Lee, MD
article

Moderate posterior epistaxis can be avoided if the posterior septal branch of the sphenopalatine artery is accounted for when extending the natural ostium inferiorly to a distance greater than approximately 5 mm.

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