Functional results after cholesteatoma surgery in an adult population using the retrograde mastoidectomy technique


In this retrospective study, we analyzed the functional results after using the retrograde mastoidectomy technique for cholesteatoma removal in an adult patient population. The described technique was used at a tertiary referral center for cholesteatoma removal in 218 adult patients, representing 242 operated ears, with an average follow-up time of 20.3 months. With the retrograde mastoidectomy technique, the cholesteatoma is removed posteriorly through the canal wall, from the epitympanic region toward the mastoid, with the option to reconstruct the posterior bony canal wall or create an open mastoid cavity, depending on the size of the defect. Primary surgery was carried out in 58.7 % ears, with the remaining 41.3 % representing revision surgery. In 151 cases, the posterior canal wall was reconstructed, and in 91 cases a classical CWD with an open mastoid cavity was created. In the majority of the cases (n = 213, 88.0 %), a primary hearing restoration was performed. There were 18 recurrences (12.7 %) in primary cases and 22 recurrences (22 %) in revision surgeries. Ninety percent of the recurrences (36 of 40 cases) occurred within 5 years. A postoperative air-bone gap of less than 20 dB was achieved in 61.6 % of the operated ears. Ears with a reconstructed posterior canal wall had significantly better hearing results than those cases in which a CWD procedure was used (air-bone gap of 17.6 versus 22.5 dB, p < 0.05). The retrograde mastoidectomy technique for cholesteatoma removal resulted in satisfying hearing results in the majority of the cases, with a recurrence rate comparable to the current literature.

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Correspondence to Amir Minovi.

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Minovi, A., Venjacob, J., Volkenstein, S. et al. Functional results after cholesteatoma surgery in an adult population using the retrograde mastoidectomy technique. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 271, 495–501 (2014).

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  • Cholesteatoma
  • Surgery
  • Canal wall down
  • Mastoidectomy