We reviewed the records of 498 primary stapedectomy cases in regard to duration of disease, age at surgery, oval window pathology, hearing results, dizziness, and tinnitus.
Ninety percent of the cases in which a tissue graft had been used as an oval window covering obtained a postoperative hearing level within 10 dB of the preoperative bone conduction. Postoperative sensorineural hearing impairment occurred infrequently and was two to three times more common in cases in which Gelfoam had been used as an oval window covering as compared to tissue grafts.
Postoperative dizziness of one degree or another persisted at four months in 2 percent of the cases and was a problem for the patient in two cases (0.4%). This dizziness was likewise more common in Gelfoam cases.
We concluded that tussue grafts are a better covering for the oval window than Gelfoam both in regard to hearing improvement and lack of postoperative complications.