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Surgery for chronic suppurative otitis media performed in low- and middle-income countries creates specific challenges. This paper describes the equipment and a variety of techniques that we find best suited to these conditions. These have been used over many years in remote areas of Nepal.
Results and conclusion
Extensive chronic suppurative otitis media is frequently encountered, with limited pre-operative investigation or treatment possible. Techniques learnt in better-resourced settings with good follow up need to be modified. The paper describes surgical methods suitable for resource-poor conditions, with rationales. These include methods of tympanoplasty for subtotal wet perforations, hearing reconstruction in wet ears and open cavities, large aural polyps, and canal wall down mastoidectomy with cavity obliteration. Various types of autologous ossiculoplasty are described in detail for use in the absence of prostheses. The following topics are discussed: decision-making for surgery on wet or best hearing ears, children, bilateral surgery, working with local anaesthesia, and obtaining adequate consent in this environment.
Chronic suppurative otitis media is a massive public health problem in numerous low- and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, few low- and middle-income countries can offer surgical therapy.
A six-month long programme in Cambodia focused on training local surgeons in type I tympanoplasty was instigated. Qualitative educational and quantitative surgical outcomes were evaluated in the 12 months following programme completion. A four-month long training programme in mastoidectomy and homograft ossiculoplasty was subsequently implemented, and the preliminary surgical and educational outcomes were reported.
A total of 124 patients underwent tympanoplasty by the locally trained surgeons. Tympanic membrane closure at six weeks post-operation was 88.5 per cent. Pure tone audiometry at three months showed that 80.9 per cent of patients had improved hearing, with a mean gain of 17.1 dB. The trained surgeons reported high confidence in performing tympanoplasty. Early outcomes suggest the local surgeons can perform mastoidectomy and ossiculoplasty as safely as overseas-trained surgeons, with reported surgeon confidence reflecting these positive outcomes.
The training programme has demonstrated success, as measured by surgeon confidence and operative outcomes. This approach can be emulated in other settings to help combat the global burden of chronic suppurative otitis media.
Lyme disease is an uncommon tick-borne multisystemic infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The most common clinical manifestation is erythema migrans. In this report, a very unusual presentation of this condition is described, in which sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss was the sole presenting symptom.
Case report and review of English-language literature.
A patient presented with sensorineural hearing loss, with no other symptoms or signs. Acute Lyme infection was detected by laboratory tests. Magnetic resonance imaging showed signs of labyrinthitis of the same inner ear. After hyperbaric oxygen and systemic antibiotic treatment, the patient showed total hearing recovery, and magnetic resonance imaging showed complete resolution of the labyrinthitis.
To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of Lyme disease presenting only with sensorineural hearing loss. Borreliosis should be considered as an aetiological factor in sensorineural hearing loss. Adequate treatment may provide total recovery and prevent more severe forms of Lyme disease.
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