Cochlear implantation through the round window with a straight slotted electrode array: optimizing the surgical procedure
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The question addressed here is how optimizing the quality of insertion through the round window with the lower morbidity, when using a straight and slotted electrode array of regular length. This retrospective analysis includes all cases implanted with a cochlear implant Digisonic SP (Neurelec-Oticon Medical) since 2004. We checked the operative charts, the depth of insertion, and the follow-up. For comparisons, contingency tables were used and a Chi-square test was performed. A p value <0.05 was considered significant. 126 cases of patients with non-malformed cochleas were implanted through the round window. The mean age was 53.8 ± 16.2 for adults and 3.6 ± 2.6 for children (24 cases). The mean follow-up was 33 ± 22 months. The straight electrode array had either a square or a soft pointed tip (n = 84). Full insertion was achieved in 79 out of 84 cases with a soft tip vs. 18 out of 42 square tips (χ2 = 41.41, DOF = 1, p < 0.0001). Two cases were stuck at the round window niche by a prominent crista fenestrae. In all cases but one, the chorda tympany was preserved. In one case, a misrouting to the vestibule required a revision surgery. Implantation through the round window with a straight and slotted electrode array with a soft tip (Digisonic SP, Neurelec-Oticon Medical) can lead to a full insertion in 94 % of cases. Drilling out a prominent crista fenestrae is recommended.
KeywordsCochlear implant Round window anatomy Electrode array Insertion
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