Newswise — Performing otologic surgery in the austere environment of a developing nation is a difficult undertaking. Many surgeons perform humanitarian missions, without knowledge of long-term results, which leaves the question as to how many people these missions truly help. However, new research validates these critical expeditions for patient care.

Results from a new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO indicate that during a mission trip, the majority of patients can be cured by a single otologic procedure for chronic ear infections (ears draining pus) or tumors (cholesteatoma), thus proving substantial benefit of these expeditions. The retrospective study was conducted of 121 patients who underwent surgery for chronic ear disease during humanitarian surgical missions in South and Central America. Patients were divided into three case groups, comprised of patients with cholesteatoma (Group I), patients with chronically draining ear at the time of surgery (Group II), and patients with dry perforations at the time of surgery (Group III). Surgical outcomes and clinical course were assessed at 10 to 12 months following the initial surgery. Complete surgical success was determined as 92 percent, 70 percent, and 60 percent for each group, respectively.

The results of the study indicate that surgical results from humanitarian missions provide significant benefit to patients, especially when the treatment consists of one particular type of surgery. Added benefits derive from providing modern surgical equipment to the host country.

Title: Humanitarian Otologic Missions: Long-Term Surgical ResultsAuthors: Drew M. Horlbeck, MD, Mark E Boston, MD, Ben J Balough, MD, Benigno Sierra-Irizarry AudD, Guillermo Ernesto Saenz MD, Julio Heinichen, Jr, MDDate: Wednesday, September 19, 9:40 am - 9:48 am

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNS Annual Meeting newsroom will be located in Registration East, Street Level of the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 15, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 16 -18, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event -

About the AAO-HNSThe American Academy of Otolaryngology " Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: "Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care."

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2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO