Objective: To standardize preoperative counseling for stapedectomy candidates. Study Design: Retrospective case review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Preoperative and postoperative hearing thresholds of 54 patients (55 stapedectomies) were retrospectively recorded. Patients (age range, 17-67 yr) were divided into 3 groups that differed significantly in their mean preoperative air conduction (AC) pure-tone averages (PTA) (up to 50, 50-70, and 70-90 dB). Intervention: Comparison of the gap between the mean hearing thresholds achieved postoperatively and the target threshold (normal hearing) in the 3 groups. Main Outcome Measures: Preoperative and postoperative AC thresholds, bone-conduction (BC) thresholds, and air-bone gap at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 Hz. Results: Patients in the group with a mean preoperative AC below 50 dB had excellent postoperative results and achieved normal hearing thresholds. In the group with a mean preoperative AC of 50 to 70 dB, the postoperative results were good, but normal hearing thresholds were not achieved. Postoperative results in the third group were within the range of moderate hearing loss, allowing these patients to use hearing aids much more successfully than preoperatively. In each of the 3 groups, mean group differences between the preoperative and the postoperative values of AC-PTA thresholds, BC-PTA thresholds, and air-bone gap were statistically significant. Comparisons between each pairing of the stratified groups also yielded statistically significant differences. Conclusion: The preoperative AC-PTA threshold value can be viewed as a convenient, valid, and standardized basis for better informed and more comprehensive counseling of stapedectomy candidates with regard to options for hearing rehabilitation.
- Preoperative counseling