Laser myringotomy may be useful in patients, particularly small children, who now undergo conventional myringotomies involving ventilation-tube insertion for the treatment of serous otitis media.
Richard L. Goode, MD, associate professor of surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, says he believes the procedure could be done on an outpatient basis, thus cutting costs substantially, if it continues to yield good results.
He told the Triological Society meeting in Los Angeles that a hole of approximately 2 mm in the tympanic membrane is made with the carbon dioxide laser attached to an operating microscope and that it takes from three to six weeks to heal.
Ventilation-tube myringotomies can remain open for years, although the average time from tube insertion to removal was 4.2 months in one survey, with a reinsertion incidence of 18.6%. Goode pointed out, however, that in many cases, shorter ventilation times may suffice.
"If it is found that