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May 1966

Preoperative Sterilization Technique of the External Ear Canal

Author Affiliations

From the Lincoln Medical Research Foundation, Lincoln, Neb.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(5):446-448. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020448008

Bacterial infection following stapedectomy is an undesirable feature. Although such infection happens infrequently, it may cause some of the unexplained cochlear losses. Postoperative occurrence of external otitis, and especially otitis media, have caused perforations of the tympanic membrane and thus have caused failure to close the airbone gap. It is reasonable to assume that most of the postoperative infections could be prevented if the ear canal were to be adequately sterilized prior to surgery.

Previous investigators have found that the sterilization technique of the external ear canal prior to stapes surgery resulted only in 40% to 50% effective sterilization, no matter what technique was used.1,2 These figures were substantiated by our own experiences using the solutions recommended for preoperative sterilization.

Because the ear canal cannot be scrubbed effectively, preoperative sterilization is very difficult to obtain. The techniques, using different solutions and methods in scrubbing, cleansing, and irrigating have not

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