The purpose of this report is to compare closed tympanoplasty (canal wall up) and open tympanoplasty (canal wall down) performed in ears with extensive cholesteatoma operated on and followed up during the past 11 years. The study has demonstrated that there are no significant differences between open and closed tympanoplasties in terms of both postoperative subjective problems and auditory results. The only definite difference relates to recurring cholesteatoma: canal wall-up operations are complicated by recurrence of cholesteatoma in a not insignificant number of ears and require a planned two-stage procedure in all the cases. By contrast, the postoperative clinical course of open tympanoplasties has been only rarely affected by cholesteatomatous complications.
It is concluded that reduction of cholesteatoma recurrence to the greatest degree possible necessitates removal of the canal wall. Open tympanoplasty is an effective alternative for closed tympanoplasty in all cases in which there is a contraindication to preserving the canal wall and in all patients whose medical or social conditions prevent scheduling an operation in more stages.
© 1988, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.