June 2021 Korea Biomedical Review

Doctors at Gangnam Severance Hospital have conducted successful operations to improve the hearing ability of chronic otitis media patients through a single cochlear implant without damaging external ears. Otorhinolaryngology Professors Song Chan-il and Moon In-seok confirmed their surgical method eased inconvenience and raised patients' satisfaction, the hospital said in a news release.

Existing surgical therapies for chronic otitis media patients with hearing loss required surgeons to remove the ear canal due to obstruction while performing two surgeries for chronic otitis media and cochlear implant. To solve the problem, the doctors performed single cochlear implantation in patients with chronic otitis media using canal wall up mastoidectomy with tympanoplasty. The new method lowered the risk of infections and complications in patients after receiving surgeries.

Among 31 patients who underwent both surgeries for chronic otitis media and cochlear implant between 2009 and 2017, only three, or 9.7 percent, suffered complications, while 14.6 percent of those who only received procedures to close up their ear canal suffered comorbidity.

“The complication rate in the study remained below 10 percent whereas the existing methods resulted in higher than 10 percent,” Professor Song said. “The recent study is expected to ease the discomfort of many patients as it only requires a single performance without increasing the risk of complications and maintains the original appearance.”

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