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Am J Otolaryngol. 1997 Jan-Feb;18(1):23-8.

Success in surgery for otosclerosis: hearing improvement and other indicators.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



This retrospective study investigates the general outcome and subjective impression of patients who have undergone surgery for otosclerosis. Postoperative complaints and complications, as well as hearing results, are also reported.


Questionnaire and audiomeric results of 246 stapes surgery patients (270 operations) were studied.


Hearing results showed a mean improvement in pure-tone average of 26 dB and air-bone gap closure to within 10 dB in 214 cases (79%). No serious complications or profound sensorineural hearing loss occurred. Patients were generally pleased with surgery, and subjective evaluation of benefit corresponded with objective audiometric result. However, a variety of complaints, such as vertigo, tinnitus, loud noise intolerance, pain, chorda tympani symptoms, and sound distortion problems, were reported. Most of these symptoms correlated significantly with the patients' subjective opinion of the surgical outcome.


Patients as well as surgeons consider hearing improvement as the main indicator of success in surgery for otosclerosis. However, postoperative symptoms and complaints can be expected in a certain percentage of patients. Because these can influence the general outcome of surgery, the ear surgeon should try to painstakingly refine his technique in an effort to minimize their sources. They should also be discussed in preoperative patient counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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