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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Mar;272(3):543-50. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2812-6. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing bismuth iodine paraffin paste external ear pack and no ear pack after middle ear surgery.

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  • 1Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath, BA1 3NG, UK,


To pilot a substantive randomized control trial comparing post-operative external ear canal pack with no ear pack after middle ear surgery, 32 adults undergoing primary posterior bony canal wall preserving middle ear surgery were randomized to have either a bismuth iodoform paraffin paste pack or no ear pack post-operatively. Outcome measures included clinician- and patient-recorded visual analogue scale scores for ear signs and symptoms at 3 weeks and 3 months and audiometric findings at 3 months post-operatively. There was no statistically significant inter-group difference in 3-week clinician and patient cumulative scores for ear signs and symptoms. There was also no significant difference in graft take rate, appearance of ear canals and audiometric results in either group at 3 months. No difference in ear symptoms, clinician findings or hearing was demonstrated between patients with a post-operative pack compared to those without a pack following middle ear surgery in this pilot study.

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