Cochlear implant surgery is increasingly being performed through a small incision because of the benefits associated with this technique, such as fewer wound complications. Efforts have been made to maximise surgical exposure in order to improve this evolving technique; this includes the development and use of new retractors. For instance, elasticated stay hooks can retract skin in a radial fashion and they are less bulky than traditional retractors. These hooks are usually attached directly to surgical drapes or to a disposable retractor ring; there are disadvantages to both of these methods.
This paper describes a technique using a laryngeal suspension bar in which the bar acts as a fixed structure to which these elasticated stay hooks can be attached.
This technique was found to be safer, cheaper and more effective for obtaining optimal surgical exposure compared with a technique whereby the stay hooks are attached directly to the drapes or to a disposable retractor ring.