• combined approach tympanoplasty;
  • cholesteatoma;
  • recurrence

A study of recurrence of retraction pockets after various methods of primary reconstruction of attic and mesotympanic defects in combined approach tympanoplasty The major drawback of combined approach tympanoplasty (CAT) is a relatively high rate of cholesteatoma recurrence compared to open-cavity techniques, which is thought to occur primarily by recurrence of retraction pockets. In this series of 63 CATs carried out by one surgeon, scutum reconstruction to prevent recurrent attic retraction was carried out in 43 cases. Repair with bone pate proved much more successful in achieving this (20.7%; 6/29 recurrent retraction pockets) compared to tragal cartilage (57.1%; 8/14) (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.0205) and was found to be a result of the greater incidence of cartilage resorption. Recurrence of retraction in pars tensa defects was more common as the only material used was a simple temporalis fascia graft. The mean time to development of recurrences was 21.1 months and that has important implications for follow-up. We conclude that the use of bone pate for scutum reconstructions reduces the incidence of attic retraction pockets, and therefore the risk of cholesteatoma recurrence following CAT.