Microdrill in endoscopic stapes surgery: Is it safe?

Vivian F. Kaul, Kevin Chow, Santino Luigi Estrera, Zachary G. Schwam, George B. Wanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the safety of using a microdrill in endoscopic vs microscopic stapes surgery. Materials and methods: A retrospective review of 29 adult ears with otosclerosis who underwent either an endoscopic or microscopic approach to microdrill stapedotomy. Primary outcome: Determine if transcanal endoscopic stapes surgery with the microdrill is as safe as microscopic stapes surgery. Secondary outcome: Bone and air pure-tone averages, air-bone gap, speech discrimination, overall surgical cost, and operative time were measured and analyzed. Complications such as post-operative dysgeusia, vertigo, readmission, revision and hearing loss were noted. Results: 29 patients with otosclerosis were retrospectively reviewed, in total 14 endoscopic and 15 microscopic approaches were included, all performed over one-year period. None of the endoscopic surgeries require conversion to the microscope. No statistically significant audiometric differences between the endoscopic vs microscopic approaches in air pure-tone averages and air-bone gap. There were 82.8% air-bone gap closure to <15 dB with no significant difference in the percent of such closures between the endoscopic (85.7%) and microscopic groups (80%, P =.68). Three prostheses were used: 4.25 mm (17.2%), 4.5 mm (58.6%) and the 4.75 mm (24.1%) smart/eclipse. Endoscopic median operative time was 51 min vs 42 min for microscopic approach (P =.004). Conclusions: The endoscopic with microdrill approach is criticized to lack depth perception, especially when using a microdrill to perform in stapedotomies. Our study showcases that using the microdrill use produces minimal differences in outcomes, cost, and is a safe modality to stapes surgery in both approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102666
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Endoscope
  • Microdrill
  • Microscope
  • Stapedotomy
  • Stapes


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