MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty patients who underwent IBCT were allocated to Group I (n = 30; microscopic IBCT) and Group II (n = 30; endoscopic IBCT) by the dates of their visits. Anatomical success was defined as an intact, repaired tympanic membrane; functional success was defined as a significant decrease in the air-bone gap. Postoperative discomfort was analyzed using a visual analog scale (VAS). Thirteen trainees completed structured questionnaires exploring anatomical identification and the surgical steps.
RESULTS: The surgical success rates were 96.7% in Group I and 100% in Group II. We found no between-group differences in the mean decrease in the air-bone gap or the extent of postoperative discomfort. Significant postoperative hearing improvements were evident in both groups. The mean operative time was shorter when the microscopic approach was chosen (17.7±4.53 vs. 26.13±9.94 min). The two approaches significantly differed in terms of the identification of external and middle ear anatomical features by the trainees, and their understanding of the surgical steps.
CONCLUSION: Both endoscopic and microscopic IBCT were associated with good success rates. The endoscopic approach facilitates visualization, and a better understanding of the middle ear anatomy and the required surgical steps and thus is of greater educational utility.