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Reconstructive methods in hearing disorders - surgical methods

Author(s): Zahnert, Thomas

Journal: GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN 1865-1011

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc02;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: middle ear surgery | middle ear reconstruction | tympanoplasty | stapessurgery | auditory canal reconstruction | middle ear implant | auditory canal atresia

Restoration of hearing is associated in many cases with resocialisation of those affected and therefore occupies an important place in a society where communication is becoming ever faster. Not all problems can be solved surgically. Even 50 years after the introduction of tympanoplasty, the hearing results are unsatisfactory and often do not reach the threshold for social hearing. The cause of this can in most cases be regarded as incomplete restoration of the mucosal function of the middle ear and tube, which leads to ventilation disorders of the ear and does not allow real vibration of the reconstructed middle ear. However, a few are also caused by the biomechanics of the reconstructed ossicular chain. There has been progress in reconstructive middle ear surgery, which applies particularly to the development of implants. Implants made of titanium, which are distinguished by outstanding biocompatibility, delicate design and by biomechanical possibilities in the reconstruction of chain function, can be regarded as a new generation. Metal implants for the first time allow a controlled close fit with the remainder of the chain and integration of micromechanical functions in the implant. Moreover, there has also been progress in microsurgery itself. This applies particularly to the operative procedures for auditory canal atresia, the restoration of the tympanic membrane and the coupling of implants. This paper gives a summary of the current state of reconstructive microsurgery paying attention to the acousto-mechanical rules.
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