Office-based co2 laser-assisted tympanic membrane fenestration addressing otitis media with effusion

P. Garin, S. Ledeghen, S. Van Prooyen-Keyser, M. Remacle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To use the CO2 laser-assisted tympanic membrane fenestration in office settings, under local anesthesia, as the sole treatment for patients with chronic otitis media with effusion (OME). Background Data: This new treatment ensures artificial ventilation of the middle ear for several weeks, and provides an intermediate solution between ordinary lancet-made tympanocentesis and transtympanic ventilation tube insertion. The operative technique is already well codified, and preliminary studies have demonstrated that tympanic membrane fenestration does not expose patients to any major hazard. Methods: We treated 30 ears in 21 children and 29 ears in 24 adults. All patients had presented with OME persistent for more than 3 months. The laser tympanostomy was performed under local anesthesia, as an outpatient procedure, using a CO2 flash-scanning laser in conjunction with a handpiece (OTOLAM™). Using a power of 12 W to 17 W, a single laser pulse usually sufficed to create a 2-mm-diameter circular perforation in the anteroinferior quadrant of the eardrum. Results: The tympanic membrane fenestration allows avoiding ventilation tube insertion in 63% of children and 75% of adults. Conclusions: The CO2 laser-assisted tympanic membrane fenestration seems a valid therapeutic option addressing OME. This study should be pursued on a larger scale to define more precisely the indications of the laser tympanostomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-187
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

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