Original Article|Articles in Press

Quality of life after mastoid surgery. Is there a real benefit to preserving the posterior wall of the external auditory canal? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Published:February 04, 2023DOI:



      Canal wall up (CWU) and canal wall down (CWD) mastoidectomies represent the most common cholesteatoma surgical techniques. In this meta-analysis, we compare the postoperative quality of life (QoL) in patients treated with either CWU or CWD mastoidectomy.


      A literature search was conducted in the following three electronic databases: Medline/PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. Articles were assessed for eligibility in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement and data were extracted independently by two authors. Biases assessment was conducted for each study according to the Methodological Items for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) tool. Meta-analysis was performed for postoperative QoL following CWU versus CWD mastoidectomy.


      Our systematic review included four studies that met the inclusion criteria, three prospective cohort studies, and one retrospective cohort study. The meta-analysis did not favor treatment with one of the two surgical techniques. Postoperative QoL did not show a statistically significant difference between CWU and CWD mastoidectomies (p>0.05).


      Our systematic review and meta-analysis results indicate that QoL is not statistically significantly better among patients who underwent CWU mastoidectomies when compared with CWD. The trend of selecting CWU over CWD mastoidectomies in selected cases - for QoL purposes - is not always based on evidence-based data. The statistically insignificant difference between the two surgical techniques suggests that an initial more radical approach might prevent patients from further surgeries, without affecting postoperative QoL.


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