Comparison of two cochlear implantation techniques and their effects on the preservation of residual hearing. Is the surgical approach of any importance?

J. T. F. Postelmans*, R. J. Stokroos, E. van Spronsen, W. Grolman, R. A. Tange, M. J. Mare, Wouter Albert Dreschler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The goal of this work was to review the pre-and postsurgical auditory thresholds of two surgical implantation techniques, namely the mastoidectomy with posterior tympanotomy approach (MPTA) and suprameatal approach (SMA), to determine whether there is a difference in the degree of preservation of residual hearing. In a series of 430 consecutive implanted patients 227 patients had measurable pre-operative hearing thresholds at 250, 500, and 1,000 Hz. These patients were divided into two groups according to the surgical technique that was used for implantation. The SMA approach was followed for 84 patients in Amsterdam, whereas the MPTA technique was adhered to 143 patients in Maastricht. The outcome variables of interest were alteration of pre-and postoperative auditory thresholds after cochlear implantation. Complete or partial preservation of residual hearing was obtained in 21.4 and 21.7 % in the SMA and MPTA group, respectively. No statistical differences could be found between the SMA and MPTA group (p = 0.96; Chi-square test). The SMA technique is correlated with a similar degree of hearing loss after cochlear implantation compared to the MPTA technique. However, both techniques were not able to conserve a measurable amount of hearing in patients with a substantial degree of residual hearing. Therefore, both surgical techniques need to be refined for patients in which residual acoustical hearing is pursued.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1005
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Cochlear implantation
  • Suprameatal approach
  • Preservation of residual hearing
  • Surgical techniques

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