Improving resident familiarity with the translabyrinthine approach to the internal auditory canal

Matthew M. Dedmon, Brendan P. O'Connell, Austin S. Adams, George B. Wanna, David S. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective To increase otolaryngology resident experience with drilling and dissection of the internal auditory canal (IAC) via a translabyrinthine approach. Study design Pilot study involving temporal bone education and drilling with completion of pre- and post-drilling surveys. Methods Participants observed an educational presentation on IAC anatomy and drilling, followed by manipulation of IAC nerves using a prosected cadaveric temporal bone. Participants then drilled the IAC and identified nerves using temporal bones with previously drilled mastoidectomies and labyrinthectomies. Pre- and post-drilling 5-point Likert-based surveys were completed. Results 7 participants were included in this study ranging in experience from PGY1 through PGY 5. The median number of times the IAC had been drilled previously was 0. Participants reported statistically significantly improved familiarity with the translabyrinthine approach after the session with median scores increasing from 2 to 3 (p = 0.02), and a near-significant increase in familiarity with IAC anatomy with median scores increasing from 3 to 4 (p = 0.06). Prior to the session, 71% of participants either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they had an idea of what the procedure would be like in a real operating room, whereas after the session 0% reported disagreement. 100% of participants were very satisfied with the overall experience. Conclusions An educational session and temporal bone drilling experience using prosected bones significantly increased the reported familiarity with the translabyrinthine approach. Experiences such as this may enhance resident exposure to advanced lateral skull base approaches in a safe environment, and increase comprehension of the complex anatomic relationships of the IAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-528
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Facial nerve
  • Lateral skull base
  • Otolaryngology education
  • Translabyrinthine


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