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June 1965

Anti-Infection Measures In Stapes Surgery

Author Affiliations

Reprint requests to 6410 Fannin, Houston 77025 (Dr. Wright).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(6):566-569. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050581007

THE SUBSTITUTION of stapedectomy for stapes mobilization has greatly increased the incidence and degree of hearing restoration from stapes surgery. It has also introduced new hazards. One of these is the increased possibility of introducing infection into the labyrinth. The possibility of getting an infection of the external or middle ear has always been present, but with the removal of the stapes, the labyrinthine space is exposed, and suppurative labyrinthitis and even generalized meningitis becomes a possibility.

Everyone performing stapedectomies is aware of the poor defenses of the labyrinth against infection and takes measures to minimize contamination in the middle ear. In this attempt, the surgeon performing stapedectomy is at somewhat of a disadvantage in that he is unable to isolate his operative field after making his skin incision. The difficulties of consistently sterilizing the skin are well known,1-4 and the general surgeon after making his incision applies skin

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