Stapes surgery in patients with a small air-bone gap | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Stapes surgery in patients with a small air-bone gap

| Reprints
August 18, 2018
by Jeremy Lavy, FRCS(ORL-HNS); Fiona McClenaghan, MRCS


The objective of this study was to determine hearing outcomes in patients undergoing stapes surgery with a preoperative air-bone gap (ABG) <21.25 dB. Patients with a unilateral or bilateral preoperative ABG <21.25 dB undergoing primary stapes surgery were identified from a database of all stapes surgeries performed in a tertiary center over 15 years. A total of 254 ears met the inclusion criteria. The primary outcome measure was the degree of closure of the preoperative ABG. A secondary outcome measure was improvement in bone-conduction thresholds at 4 kHz. All patients underwent stapes surgery under local anesthesia. Ossicular reconstruction was achieved using a SMart 360 nitinol fluoroplastic piston (Gyrus ACMI, Inc.; Southborough, Mass.), and complete posterior crurotomy was performed with a KTP laser. Hearing was assessed with clinical voice testing immediately postoperatively and with pure-tone audiometry at 6 weeks postoperatively. A total of 248 ears (97.6%) demonstrated ABG closure to <10 dB. Bone-conduction thresholds showed an increase in 114 (44.9%), no change 74 (29.1%), and a decrease in 66 (26.0%). There is a slight increase in the risk of stapes mobilization in ears with a small ABG when compared to those with larger ABGs; however, this can be overcome by using a laser-assisted technique in combination with good surgical experience. The benefit in terms of hearing aid avoidance and the restoration of symmetrical hearing is both achievable and significant for the patient.

ENT Journal provides full text articles to our registered members.
Please log in or sign up for a FREE membership to view the full content:

You may also like to: