To investigate the presenting symptoms, intra-operative findings and long-term facial nerve function in patients treated for cholesteatoma with associated facial paralysis.
Fifteen patients with facial paralysis due to middle-ear cholesteatoma who underwent tympanomastoidectomy surgery from February 2000 to February 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. After removal of the cholesteatoma, a limited area of the fallopian canal, in which facial nerve oedema or redness was evident, was opened. Incision of the epineural sheath for nerve decompression was not performed.
Pre-operative House–Brackmann grade was grade II in two patients, grade III in four, grade IV in seven, grade V in one and grade VI in one. Facial nerve perineurium damage was observed in two patients with poor prognoses. All patients treated within the first 15 days after paralysis onset showed normal facial function at long-term follow up. Post-operative House–Brackmann grade was grade I in 11 patients, grade II in 1, grade III in 2 and grade VI in 1.
Early surgical treatment is more likely to give good results, and poor outcomes are observed in patients with facial nerve perineurium damage.
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