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The use of lasers in cholesteatoma surgery is common and well accepted. The most commonly used laser fibres are straight and non-adjustable; these have several limitations. This paper describes the use of an alternative laser fibre.
This ‘How I Do It’ paper describes and illustrates the use of an alternative curved adjustable fibre-optic diode laser in microscopic cholesteatoma surgery.
The curved, adjustable laser fibre allows accurate and atraumatic disease removal when the use of a straight laser fibre may be less effective or accurate. It reduces potential damage to delicate structures without the need for extra drilling or bone removal.
It is suggested that the curved adjustable laser fibre is superior to the traditional straight fibre for cholesteatoma surgery.
Despite the plethora of publications on the subject of paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea, there seems to be wide variability in the literature and in practice, regarding recourse to surgery, the operation chosen, the benefits gained and post-operative management. This may reflect a lack of high-level evidence.
A systematic review of four significant controversies in paediatric ENT was conducted from the available literature: tonsillectomy versus tonsillotomy, focusing on the evidence base for each; anaesthetic considerations in paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea surgery; the objective evidence for the benefits of surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea; and the medical treatment options for residual obstructive sleep apnoea after surgical treatment.
Results and conclusion:
There are many gaps in the evidence base for the surgical correction of obstructive sleep apnoea. There is emerging evidence favouring subtotal tonsillectomy. There is continuing uncertainty around the prediction of the level of post-operative care that any individual child might require. The long-term benefit of surgical correction is a particularly fertile ground for further research.
Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea is a common clinical condition managed by most ENT clinicians. However, despite the plethora of publications on the subject, there is wide variability, in the literature and in practice, on key aspects such as diagnostic criteria, the impact of co-morbidities and the indications for surgical correction.
A systematic review is presented, addressing four key questions from the available literature: (1) what is the evidence base for any definition of paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea?; (2) does it cause serious systemic illness?; (3) what co-morbidities influence the severity of paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea?; and (4) is there a medical answer?
Results and conclusion:
There is a considerable lack of evidence regarding most of these fundamental questions. Notably, screening measures show low specificity and can be insensitive to mild obstructive sleep apnoea. There is a surprising lack of clarity in the definition (let alone estimate of severity) of sleep-disordered breathing, relying on what may be arbitrary test thresholds. Areas of potential research might include investigation of the mechanisms through which obstructive sleep apnoea causes co-morbidities, whether neurocognitive, behavioural, metabolic or cardiovascular, and the role of non-surgical management.
The adoption of evidence-based practice is fundamental to good medical care; it ensures that intervention is clinically effective and safe. In a world of limited healthcare resources, consideration of cost-effectiveness must, unfortunately, restrict clinicians' choice. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has, for over 10 years, developed guidance to achieve a national consensus on best practice.
This review describes the Institute's methodology, examines guidance relevant to otolaryngology and presents more recent research to update the evidence.
This study aimed to assess the speed of referral, diagnosis and treatment of patients with lymphoma presenting with a neck lump, and to identify where delays are occurring that prevent UK national targets from being met.
The study entailed a retrospective survey of patients presenting with a neck lump secondary to lymphoma between 2006 and 2008 in Gloucestershire, UK.
Forty-seven of 54 patients (87 per cent) were seen within 2 weeks of referral. However, the 62-day rule, which covers the time from referral to the initiation of treatment, was met in only 32 of the 54 cases (59 per cent). There were no breaches of the 31-day target, which concerned the time from decision to treat to the initiation of treatment. Subsequent target breaches were due to longer waiting times for radiological and pathological investigations.
Radiological examinations should be ordered at the first consultation and biopsies performed as soon as possible. Establishing one-stop, rapid access clinics should improve the achievement of a maximum 62-day wait for patients with lymphoma presenting with neck lumps.
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