The goal of this study was to evaluate, in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon, the cochleostomy location of an endaural approach (MINV) compared to the conventional posterior tympanotomy (MPT) approach. Since 2010, we use in the ENT department of Nice a new surgical endaural approach to perform cochlear
implantation. In the hands of an inexperienced surgeon, the position of the cochleostomy has not yet been studied in detail for this technique. This is a prospective study of 24 human heads. Straight electrode arrays were implanted by an inexperienced surgeon: on one side using MPT and on the other side using MINV. The cochleostomies were all antero-inferior, but they were performed through an endaural approach with the MINV or a posterior tympanotomy approach with the MPT. The positioning of the cochleostomies into the scala tympani was evaluated by microdissection. Cochleostomies performed through the endaural approach were well placed into the scala tympani more frequently than those performed through the posterior tympanotomy approach (87.5 and 16.7 %, respectively, p ≤ 0.001). This study highlights the biggest challenge for an inexperienced surgeon to achieve a reliable cochleostomy through a posterior tympanotomy, which requires years of experience. In case of an uncomfortable view through a posterior tympanotomy, an inexperienced surgeon might be able to successfully perform a cochleostomy through an endaural (combined approach) or an extended round window approach in order to avoid opening the scala vestibuli.
Cochlear implantation Cochleostomy Minimally invasive surgery Endaural approach Learning skills Surgery resident
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Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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