Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty in a professional Navy SEAL diver: case report

Nir Tsur, Ronen Bar, Ohad Hilly, Ophir Handzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Middle ear barotrauma due to dilatory Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is probably the most common medical disorder related to diving. Moreover, ETD makes divers prone to other diving-related accidents, including inner ear barotrauma and alternobaric vertigo. Until the development of Eustachian tube balloon dilation no diving-compatible surgical options existed to effectively and safely prevent recurrence. We present a case of an Israeli Navy SEAL diver who dives in extreme strenuous combat-related closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) dives. Due to repeated middle ear barotrauma, the patient underwent Eustachian tube balloon dilation of the affected side. Following surgery, the patient returned to both CCR and scuba dives but still suffered from middle ear symptoms and repeated barotrauma hence was eventually disqualified from further combat diving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-470
Number of pages4
JournalUndersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Eustachian tube balloon dilation
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • closed circuit rebreather


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