Author(s): Palva T, Ramsay H
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Abstract HYPOTHESIS: The attic compartments, except for Prussak's space, are aerated through the tympanic isthmus. The aim of this study was to develop aeration pathways that would bypass the isthmus in surgery for chronic inflammatory ear disease and cholesteatoma. BACKGROUND: Microdissection of the epitympanum has shown that the anterior attic and the supratubal recess are separated by the tensor fold, the excision of which creates a large new aeration pathway. METHODS: Earlier surgical experience was reexamined as to the access to the tensor fold. Twenty temporal bones were dissected to create clinically useful new surgical routes for tensor fold removal in the presence of an intact ossicular chain. RESULTS: An endaural atticotomy, extended to the supratubal recess, allows excision of the tensor fold; however, the excision must be performed blindly. Cutting the neck of the malleus to allow lateral lifting of the manubrium exposes the tensor tendon and allows rapid excision of the fold. The elasticity of the tendon assists in approximation of the cut edges. In canal wall up surgery, removal of the lateral attic bone until the root of the zygoma exposes the anterior surface of the head of the malleus and the lateral portion of the transverse crest. Drill-out of the crest leads directly to the posterior side of the tensor fold, allowing its excision under direct vision. Thinning of the attic bone lateral to the body and short process of the incus allows simultaneous removal of the lateral incudomalleal fold. CONCLUSIONS: When the ossicular chain is discontinuous, tensor fold resection can be made under direct vision. With an intact chain, cutting of the neck of the malleus used in tympanic glomus tumors causes no hearing changes, allows complete fold excision, and is adaptable to chronic ear surgery. The frontolateral attic route for removal of tensor fold, together with the lateral incudomalleal fold, can be used in the canal wall up surgery to improve attic aeration.
This article was published in Am J Otol
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access