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Ossiculoplasty with composite prostheses. Overview and analysis

D I Bojrab, J B Causse, R A Battista, R Vincent, B Gratacap, G Vandeventer
Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 1994, 27 (4): 759-76
Aeration of a mucosa-lined tympanic cavity is essential for a functioning middle ear. Extrusions of even the best-designed prostheses occur from abnormal middle ear conditions such as atelectasis, middle ear fibrosis, recurrent cholesteatoma, tympanic membrane perforation, and otitis media. Various polymers have been developed in an attempt to maximize prosthetic biocompatibility and ease of use while minimizing the chance of extrusion. One such polymer is a composite of hydroxyapatite and Silastic, known as Flex H/A. This material has been incorporated into two ossicular prostheses, the Universal Plus and the Causse Flex H/A prostheses. Certainly, refinements will continue to be made in the chemical makeup of the bioceramics in order to achieve optimal biocompatibility. In addition to biocompatibility, cost containment issues have influenced the development of ossicular prostheses. A universal prosthesis eliminates the need to stock multiple designs, thereby reducing the cost to institutions. One of the greatest challenges in the future will be to define the appropriate prosthetic design for optimal sound transmission. Consideration of prosthesis weight, head size, and footplate attachment are future research questions that need to be addressed in a scientific biologic model.

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