Objective: To investigate the outcome of tympanoplasty in the elderly (pati
ents older than 60 years) compared with younger patients.
Patients and Study Design: Retrospective review of 87 (28.3%) older patient
s among a total of 307 patients with chronic otitis media with or without c
holesteatoma who were surgically treated at a university hospital by the se
nior author. Follow-up was systematically provided at the same institution.
Interventions: Surgery included tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy performed
as the primary procedure in 358 ears. Tympanoplasty was performed with cana
l-wall-up or canal-wall-down with canal wall reconstruction, ossiculoplasty
with autologous or homologous ossicle interposition or columella. Mean fol
low-up was 30 months (range, 12-70 months).
Main Outcome Measures: Pre- and postoperative air- and bone-conduction thre
sholds were calculated as an average of three speech frequencies (0.5, 1, a
nd 2 kHz). Analysis was subsequently carried out on the postoperative air-b
one gap, hearing gain, and postoperative problems such as elevation of the
bone-conduction threshold, delayed epithelialization, and reperforation of
the eardrum. Statistical analysis was performed by chi-square or Student's
t-test. A p value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Compared with results from younger patients, there was no particul
ar disadvantage in postoperative hearing results and complications in the e
lderly, although preoperative bone-conduction thresholds were gradually wor
sened with age.
Conclusions: There is no contraindication for tympanoplasty in older patien
ts if their physical status is the same or better than what is normal for t
heir chronological age.