Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty is a surgical management option for Eustachian tube dysfunction; it has shown promising results in studies worldwide, but has had limited uptake in the UK. This study reports long-term outcomes for patients offered balloon Eustachian tuboplasty for chronic dilatory and baro-challenge-induced Eustachian tube dysfunction, and describes practical experience gained from its implementation.
Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty was conducted in 25 patients (36 ears) with Eustachian tube dysfunction over three years. Information on presenting symptoms and signs, audiometric findings, tympanometry, and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire-7 scores were recorded pre- and post-operatively with a minimum follow up of one year.
Sixteen (64 per cent) of the 25 patients demonstrated symptom resolution after balloon Eustachian tuboplasty according to the Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire-7. Fourteen (64 per cent) of the 22 patients with a type B or C tympanogram pre-operatively, had a type A trace post-operatively. Fifteen (75 per cent) of 20 patients with pre-operative conductive hearing loss showed improvement post-operatively, and 11 (50 per cent) of 22 patients with pre-operative middle-ear effusion or tympanic membrane retraction showed resolution.
Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty can improve subjective and objective measures of Eustachian tube dysfunction, and provide longer-term resolution.
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