Effects of cavity reconstruction on morbidity and quality of life after canal wall down tympanomastoidectomy

Abstract Introduction: Canal wall down tympanomastoidectomy is commonly used to treat advanced chronic otitis media or cholesteatoma. The advantages of canal wall down mastoidectomy are excellent exposure for disease eradication and postoperative control of residual disease; its disadvantages include the accumulation of debris requiring life-long otological maintenance and cleaning, continuous ear drainage, fungal cavity infections, and the occurrence of dizziness and vertigo by changing temperature or pressure. Objective: To evaluate whether cavity-induced problems can be eliminated and patient comfort can be increased with mastoid cavity reconstruction. Methods: In total, 11 patients who underwent mastoid cavity reconstruction between March 2013 and June 2013 comprised the study group, and 11 patients who had dry, epithelialized CWD cavities were recruited as the control group. The study examined three parameters: epithelial migration, air caloric testing, and the Glasgow Benefit Inventory. Epithelial migration, air caloric testing, and the Glasgow Benefit Inventory were evaluated in the study and control groups. Results: The epithelial migration rate was significantly faster in study group (1.63 ± 0.5 mm/week) than control group (0.94 ± 0.37 mm/week) (p = 0.003, p < 0.05). The mean slow component velocity of nystagmus of the study group (13.33 ± 5.36°/s) was significantly lower when compared to control group (32.11 ± 9.12°/s) (p = 0.018). The overall the Glasgow Benefit Inventory score was −7.21, and the general subscale, physical and social health scores were −9.71, −21.09, and +20.35, respectively in the control group. These were +33.93, +35.59, +33.31, and +29.61, respectively in the study group. All but the social health score improved significantly (0.007, 0.008, 0.018, and 0.181, respectively). Conclusions: Cavity reconstruction improves epithelial migration, normalizes caloric responses and increases the quality of life. Thus, cavity rehabilitation eliminates open-cavity-induced problems by restoring the functional anatomy of the ear.