Otitis media with effusion is a leading cause of conductive hearing loss in children. Myringotomy and insertion of tympanostomy tubes(Grommets) is the accepted form of treatment. Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. The fluid blocks the middle part of the ear and can cause impaired hearing.
Myringotomy can be done the old-fashioned way (with a knife), but the child must be under anesthetic for that procedure. Using OtoLAM the laser device enables one to perform office-based myringotomies, avoiding heavy sedation and/or a trip to the operating room and GA.
(OtoLAM, which stands for otologic laser-assisted myringotomy. “Myringotomy” is a surgical
procedure in which a hole is created in the eardrum.Thus, OtoLAM enables ENT surgeon to make a controlled hole in the eardrum, using a laser. This involves the use of a Co2laser beam and flash-scanner technology to vaporize a round opening in the tympanic).
Laser myringotomy is a convenient, quick procedure that can be performed in theclinic set up with the use of topical anesthesia( Emla cream on an otowick inserted for half hour) and is suitable for patients with AOM or for those who need short-term ventilation for SOM. It was found to be a safe alternative to ventilation tubes in these patients. In AOM, it was used instead of antibiotics and gave prompt relief from symptoms and cure of the AOM.
The laser with a helium/neon circular aiming beam is focused on the ear drum. The power settings are adjusted to the anticipated thickness of the tympanic membrane. Meticulous cleaning and anesthesia of the ear canal was necessary.
In order for OtoLAM to be effective, the patient would have to remain still for the laser myringotomy .