Surgical trainees and powered-drill use do not affect type I tympanoplasty hearing outcomes | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Surgical trainees and powered-drill use do not affect type I tympanoplasty hearing outcomes

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September 18, 2017
by David T. Kent, MD; David H. Chi, MD; Dennis J. Kitsko, DO


The purposes of this study were to determine if use of a powered drill or trainee involvement during tympanoplasty is associated with a decline in sensorineural hearing, as well as to examine whether trainee involvement affected tympanic membrane (TM) closure rates. This study was a chart review (February 2006 to October 2011) of 172 pediatric otolaryngology patients undergoing type I tympanoplasty for TM perforation of any etiology at a tertiary-care pediatric otolaryngology practice. Data collected included air conduction (AC) at 250 to 8,000 Hz, speech reception thresholds, bone conduction (BC) at 500 to 4,000 Hz, and air-bone gap (ABG) at 500 to 4,000 Hz. Rates of surgical success did not change significantly if a trainee assisted during surgery (69.6% with an assistant vs. 77.4% without; p = 0.297). AC hearing was not found to be significantly different between the two groups preoperatively or postoperatively at 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, or 8,000 Hz (p > 0.05). There were no significant differences in AC hearing outcomes between patients in whom a surgical drill was used and those in whom no drill was used (p > 0.05). BC and ABG did not change significantly at any frequency (p > 0.05). In conclusion, no correlation between high-frequency hearing loss and use of a powered drill for canalplasty during type I tympanoplasty was found in this pediatric population. No significant difference was found in surgical success rates or AC hearing outcomes when a surgical trainee was present.

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