3D endoscopic ear surgery: a clinical pilot study

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Feb;275(2):379-384. doi: 10.1007/s00405-017-4839-6. Epub 2017 Dec 5.


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a new high-resolution 3D endoscope in endoscopic ear and lateral skull base surgery.

Methods: Eight patients, five women and three men, were included in this clinical pilot prospective study. Their age was 38 ± 17.3 years (mean ± SD, range 17-54 years). The right side was involved in five cases, and the left side in three cases. There were three cases of chronic otitis, one case of cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal, one case of otosclerosis, one case of cochlear implant surgery, and two cases of stage 2 vestibular schwannoma operated on with a retrosigmoid approach to preserve hearing.

Results: There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications. The new system was used during all procedures without the necessity to switch to a 2D mode. The surgeons felt comfortable using the system and its major advantages were considered to be in measuring the distances for ossicular chain reconstruction and in the sense of depth provided in the middle ear and cerebellopontine angle.

Conclusion: The sense of depth provided by the 3D system is effective in both middle ear and lateral skull base surgery. Further improvements (smaller and/or more angled endoscopes) should be considered for future developments in endoscopic ear surgery.

Keywords: Cholesteatoma; Endoscope; Otosclerosis; Tympanoplasty; Vestibular schwannoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult