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Intraoperative and postoperative findings in children with myringotomy tubes (MT) undergoing cochlear implantation (CI).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and compare children undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) with myringotomy tubes (MT) placed preoperatively or intraoperatively to those without MT .

METHODS: This was a retrospective review of pediatric patients undergoing CI between 2015 to 2020 at a tertiary care pediatric hospital. CI patients with and without MT were reviewed for the following outcomes: intraoperative findings, intraoperative and postoperative complications, and surgical time. Descriptive and bivariable statistical analysis was performed.

RESULTS: 192 cochlear implant surgeries were included: 116 without MT tubes and 76 with a history of MT. Twenty-six patients had MT present at the time of CI surgery. No statistical difference existed between patients with MT (CI + MT group) and those without MT (CI - MT group) with regard to intraoperative complications (P = 0.760) and intraoperative findings (P = 0.545). MT association with total post-operative complications (GEE) showed no statistical significance (OR 2.45, 95% CI 0.83-7.22, P-value 0.105). CI + MT patients were significantly more likely to have inflamed middle ear mucosa at time of surgery (P = 0.003). CI + MT patients did not have a longer length of surgery compared to the CI - MT group (3.47 h vs 3.3 h, respectively, P = 0.342).

CONCLUSION: Our data confirms it is safe to perform CI in ears with myringotomy tubes, although the surgeon should be aware of possibly encountering increased middle ear inflammation during the surgery.

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