Introduction: Glomus tympanicum (GT) is a benign primary tumor of the middle ear. The evolution of endoscopic ear surgery has allowed for an alternative approach to managing this vascular tumor. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an endoscopic approach in GT surgery, and also to investigate its applicability and feasibility.
Materials and methods: Prospectively, 13 class I and II patients, according to the Glasscock-Jackson glomus classification, were candidates for management via a transcanal endoscopic approach. Patients were categorized into three groups according to the location of the tumor in the middle ear. Group A consisted of patients with tumors located anteriorly while occupying the Eustachian tube. Group B were patients with tumors located on the promontory with entirely visible tumor borders. Patients in Group C had tumors that occupied the entire middle ear. Under specially designed flap elevation and hemostasis, the tumors were completely removed using an endoscopic technique.
Results: Based on the classification criteria, three patients fell into Group A (30%), six into Group B (46%), and three into Group C (23%). The principal chief complaint was pulsatile tinnitus that disappeared after surgery in most cases. Hearing status was mostly mixed hearing loss. No change was detected in bone conduction after surgery, but air conduction was improved in nine cases. No major complication or recurrence was observed over 30 months of follow up.
Conclusion: Improved exposure and access in the endoscopic transcanal approach to GT leads to safe, rapid, and reliable tumor removal, as well as allowing comfortable surgery for both the surgeon and most patients.
Keywords: Endoscope; Glomus tympanicum; Surgery.