Could radiofrequency myringotomy be an alternative to incisional myringotomy?

Research paper by Fikret F Cinar, M Birol MB Ugur, Lokman L Uzun

Indexed on: 12 Aug '08Published on: 12 Aug '08Published in: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology


To evaluate the usefulness of radiofrequency myringotomy (RFM) and the closure time of the myringotomy site in comparison to incisional myringotomy (IM).We performed conventional surgical myringotomy on the right ears and RFM on the left ears of 40 rabbits. In order to investigate the effect of the power of energy delivered on the patency period we arranged the animals into two groups: three power grade in RFM group 1 (RFMg1; n: 20) and six power grade in RFM group 2 (RFMg2; n: 20). The follow-up of the myringotomy procedure was performed on days 5, 8, 11, 14 and 17 with examination under the operating microscope.At the first examination on day 5 after the procedure, all IM openings were found to be closed while seven and eight (36 and 44%) of the tympanic membranes in the radiofrequency groups 1 and 2 remained open, respectively. In these remaining ears, RFM site was patent up to days 11 and 14, respectively in the two RFM groups. None of the RFMs was patent on study day 17. The difference between the closure time of myringotomy sites of the radiofrequency and IM groups was statistically significant (p < 0.05). In comparison of the two RFM groups, we found approximately equal rates regarding the myringotomy patency (p > 005; chi2 yates: 0.02). The complication rates were 5 and 2% for the IM and RFM groups, respectively.Radiofrequency myringotomies last longer than incisional myringotomies. With the low complication rate, it is possible to perform this bloodless RF procedure in an office setting. Increased power grade of radiofrequency has no effect on prolonging the myringotomy patency. RFM appears to be a safe and simple procedure that can be used as an alternative to IM.