Vestibular neurectomy is an effective procedure in the management of vertigo due to active labyrinthine disease. Various approaches have been developed for selectively sectioning the vestibular nerve, in order to preserve serviceable hearing and avoid facial nerve injury.
In patients who have a mastoid cavity, from previous surgery for chronic otitis media, the approach to the vestibular nerve has to be modified. Considerations taken into account are cavity infection, hearing status, and the presence of associated loud tinnitus.
Vestibular or vestibulo-cochlear nerve section has been undertaken, by the senior author, in eight patients with a mastoid cavity from previous surgery for chronic otitis media. Translabyrinthine, retrosigmoid and middle fossa approaches have all been used; strategies for selection of each specific technique are considered, and the aetiology of post-chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) peripheral vestibular disease discussed.