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Exploratory Tympanotomy

Background

Exploratory tympanotomy refers to the surgical approach to the middle ear and its structures for diagnosis. The steps of exploratory tympanotomy are the same as those that would precede transcanal middle ear surgery, such as stapedectomy or removal of a small glomus tympanicum tumor. The operation is performed under otomicroscopy across the external auditory canal (transcanal). Canal skin incisions are created that permit tympanic membrane elevation to gain the necessary exposure to the middle ear and the structures contained within.

Exploratory tympanotomy takes its origins from early fenestration surgeries performed by Sourdille
and Lempert
for otosclerosis. Rosen performed the same exploratory tympanotomy steps prior to stapes mobilization.
It was simply a means to access the middle ear and its structures.

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