Centre for Otology and Ear Surgery
Within the St. Catherine Specialty Hospital operates a specialized Center for otology and otosurgery. Otology is a branch of otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery which studies the normal and pathological anatomy and physiology of the ear, hearing and balance organs, as well as their diseases, diagnosis and treatment. The center provides surgical treatment of chronic otitis media in children and adults, perforation of the eardrum, cholesteatoma, narrowing of the external auditory canal, conductive hearing loss such as otosclerosis, disorders of the facial nerve and tumours of the ear and lateral skull base. The specialty of the center is minimally invasive endoscopic ear surgery, in which we are the first and only center in Croatia and the region where such operations are performed. Mislav Malić, M.D., FEBORL-HNS, otorhinolaryngology specialist is a pioneer of endoscopic ear surgery in Croatia with many years of experience in these sophisticated operations, an organizer of international courses in endoscopic ear surgery and an invited lecturer at several international events. Read more about endoscopic ear surgery here.
Conditions treated at the center:
- Chronic serous otitis media: this is a particularly common condition in children, when due to the anatomical positions of the Eustachian tubes or their obstruction by the adenoid tissuse, fluid accumulates inside the middle ear and the results in inflammation and hearing loss. The treatment is surgical, myringotomy and placement of ventilation tubes in the eardrum.
- Traumatic injuries/perforations of the eardrum: today, eardrum repair is performed almost exclusively endoscopically, with a surgery named myringoplasty, and recovery is very fast and predictable.
- Cholesteatoma surgery: A cholesteatoma is a cyst-like growth of the skin that appears in an abnormal location, usually in the middle ear behind the eardrum, in response to repeated infection or congenitally. It behaves like a benign tumour that locally destructs tissue and can lead to significant complications, such as facial nerve paralysis, hearing loss, vertigo and brain abscess. The only cure is surgical treatment. Today, smaller cholesteatomas can be operated minimally invasively endoscopically, without the need for external incisions and drilling of a large part of the temporal bone. In situations where this is not possible, we also perform complex microsurgical operations with ear obliteration and reconstruction.
- Otosclerosis: A condition in which the stapes footplate fuses together with oval window niche, resulting in severe conductive hearing loss. Stapedotomy is the surgical method of choice, where the fused bone is removed and replaced with a prosthesis.
- Other conductive hearing losses due to inflammation, congenital and other.
- Narrowing of the external auditory canal: exostoses, progressive narrowing due to inflammation.
- Deafness surgery: implantation of a cochlear implant.
- Disorders of the facial nerve: facial muscle paralysis is one of the worst aesthetic deformities. It occurs as a result of inflammation of the nerve itself, a fracture of the temporal bone or after certain surgical procedures. With complex microsurgical interventions, it is possible to correct the resulting deformity and to a certain extent restore the smile and facial symmetry.
- Meniere's disease: a condition in which there are attacks of vertigo and sensorineural hearing loss, accompanied by tinnitus and fullness in the ear. It is possible to treat by applying drugs through the eardrum directly into the middle ear cavity or by surgical procedures to stop the attacks of vertigo.
- Tumours of the inner ear and auditory canal: vestibular schwannoma, cochlear schwannoma, paragangliomas..