OBJECTIVE: To present the anatomical and functional results of the inside-out technique applied in pediatric cholestetaoma surgery and to evaluate functionality with good hearing results against radicality with lower recurrence rate.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis and evaluation of the postoperative outcome in a consecutive series of 126 children or 130 ears operated between 1992 and 2008. With the inside-out technique, cholesteatoma is eradicated from the epitympanum toward the mastoid and, as a single stage procedure, functional reconstruction of the middle ear is achieved by tympanoossiculoplasty.
RESULTS: In 89.2% of all cases, the ear was dry postoperatively. 80.9% of the ears reached a postoperative air-bone gap of 30 dB or less and the median air conduction hearing threshold was 29 dB; in 60.9% of all cases, hearing was postoperatively improved. The recurrence rate was 16.2% in a mean postoperative follow-up 8.5 years. Altogether, 48 ears (36.9%) underwent revision surgery. The complication rate was 3.1% and involved only minor complications.
CONCLUSION: The inside-out technique allows a safe removal of cholesteatoma from the epitympanum toward the mastoid with a single-stage reconstruction of the ossicular chain. For this reason we support our individual approach, which allows creation of the smallest possible cavity for the size of the cholesteatoma. Our results confirm that the inside-out technique is effective in the treatment of pediatric cholesteatoma.