Sculpting the temporal bone: an easy reversible cochlear implant electrode-array stabilization technique
Purpose Since the beginning of cochlear implant (CI) surgery, several techniques to fixate the electrode array at the cochleostomy and stabilize it have been described; however, most techniques use autologous tissues such as fascia, muscle, fat or fibrin glue. We describe a new surgical technique aimed to stabilize the electrode array of a CI without using autologous tissues or artificial materials. Materials and methods The surgical technique described consists in creating three stabilizing channels in the temporal bone for the electrode array. The first one in a partially opened aditus, the second one in a partially preserved Koerner's septum (KS) and the last one in the sinodural angle. The procedure was performed in five human temporal bones using a straight array; a radiography was made to confirm the correct placement of the electrode array and afterwards all temporal bones were shaken using a Titramax 1000 platform. The correct placement of the array post-shaking was then confirmed using the microscope and another radiography. Results No migration of the electrodes outside the cochlea was observed. The CI cable remained in the same position at the aditus and the KS in all the temporal bones. In three cases (60%), the electrode array moved away from the groove carved in the sinodural angle. Conclusions The new surgical technique described stabilizes the electrode array using the temporal bone's normal anatomy, preserving the middle ear spaces, facilitating the ulterior explantation and reimplantation if necessary, and may reduce cost and surgery time.