The aim of this study was to determine the effect of surgical approach, intact canal wall (ICW) or canal wall down (CWD), upon the success of revision surgery for chronicotitis media (COM). A retrospective analysis of 367 patients (including 65 children aged <15years) who underwent revision tympanoplasty because of persistent disease was performed. Single-staged tympanoplasty was performed, preserving the canal wall when present. Hearing was reconstructed with allograft incus. Follow-up ranged from one to 15 years. Hearing was determined by pre- and post-operative air-bone gaps.
Post-operative re-perforation, aural discharge and/or cholesteatoma rates were similar for CWD and ICW. Cholesteatoma could present following the revision, even though it was not apparentat surgery. Following tympanoplasty, the final hearing was not significantly affected by the surgical approach or presence of cholesteatoma. Improvement in hearing was adversely affected by cholesteatoma or an absent stapes suprastructure.
Revision ICW and CWD operations were both successful in controlling signs of COM. Cholesteatoma is a peripheral risk in COM and may become apparent after revision surgery.