JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Surgical exposure of the internal auditory canal through the retrosigmoid approach with semicircular canals anatomical preservation.

OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the feasibility of an adequate exposure with anatomical preservation of labyrinth structures through retrosigmoid transmeatal approach (RSA) in surgeries for resection of acoustic neuromas/vestibular schwannomas (VS).

METHOD: Thirty patients underwent surgical resection and were preoperatively evaluated with fine slice high definition CT scans and 3D-MRI volumetric reconstructions. Extension of internal auditory canal (IAC) opening during surgery was measured using 3 mm right-angle calibrated hook and neuronavigation parameters. Postoperatively, the extension of IAC opening and integrity of the labyrinth were confirmed through preoperatively images procedures.

RESULTS: The preoperative length of IACs varied between 7.8 and 12.0 mm (mean 9.3 mm, SD 0.98, 95%CI 8.9 to 9.6, and median 9.0 mm). Postoperative images demonstrated adequate opening of the IAC and semicircular channels integrity.

CONCLUSION: A complete drilling of the posterior wall of IAC through the RSA is feasible and allows direct visualization of the IAC-fundus without damaging the semicircular canals.

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