There has been a rapid increase in endoscopic ear surgery for the management of middle ear and lateral skull base disease in children and adults over the last decade.
In this review paper, we discuss the current trends and applications of the endoscope in the field of otology and neurotology. Advantages of the endoscope include excellent ergonomics, compatibility with pediatric anatomy, and improved access to the middle ear through the external auditory canal.
Transcanal endoscopic ear surgery has demonstrated comparable outcomes in the management of cholesteatoma, tympanic membrane perforations, and otosclerosis as compared to microscopic approaches, while utilizing less invasive surgical corridors and reducing the need for postauricular incisions. When a postauricular approach is required, the endoscopic-assisted transmastoid approach can avoid a canal wall down mastoidectomy in cases of cholesteatoma.
The endoscope also has utility in treatment of superior canal dehiscence and various skull base lesions including glomus tumors, meningiomas, and vestibular schwannomas.