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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Feb;273(2):371-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-015-3560-6. Epub 2015 Feb 25.

Stapes surgery: a National Survey of British Otologists.

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CT2 Vascular Surgery, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.
Ninewells Hospital and University of Dundee, 84 West Road, Newport on Tay, Dundee, Scotland, UK.
ST3 Paediatric Surgery, Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, UK.
Park Hill Hospital, Doncaster, UK.


To investigate individual stapes surgery practice in the UK, a retrospective study was conducted by postal questionnaire to all 'assumed' stapes-performing otologists. 225 questionnaires were sent out to practicing otologists in the UK. 184 replies (81.8 %) indicated that 134 (72.9 %) otologists perform stapes surgery [stapedectomy (8.2 %), stapedotomy (91.0 %) or other (0.8 %)]. The '6-10 stapes operation per year' category is the most common, with most using general anaesthetic (GA) (78.3 %). Unilateral surgery is advised in 89.6 %, and 96.3 % perform second-side surgery, with all advising the option of a hearing aid prior to surgery. The majority (88.1 %) would fit the prosthesis after removing the stapes, with the top three prostheses being Causse, Smart and Teflon (as described by respondents). 42.5 % always use a vein graft or fat to cover the fenestration, 9.3 % use a laser and 48.5 % carry out the surgery as a day case. For an overhanging facial nerve (less than 50 % of the footplate obscured), the majority stated that it would depend whether they would abandon surgery. 25.4 % have encountered a 'gusher' and 83.6 % would recommend revision surgery. 82.8 % have a registrar present when carrying out stapes operations, but 69.4 % only offer training to trainees with an otological interest. In the UK, stapedotomy is the preferred technique. Most prefer the Causse prosthesis, general anaesthesia and an inpatient stay. Hearing aids are advised prior to surgery. Day-case and inpatient practice is about equal. 'Gushers' are encountered rarely. Revision surgery is advised if a conductive loss returns. Flying is recommended from 6 weeks. Most otologists are willing to teach trainees with an otological interest.


National survey; Stapedectomy; Stapedotomy; United Kingdom

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