ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Revisiting the Anatomy of the Facial Recess: The Boundaries of the Round Window Exposure
Kerem Öztürk 1, Sercan Göde 2, Servet Çelik 3, Mustafa Orhan 3, Okan Bilge 3, Cem Bilgen 1, Tayfun Kirazlı 1, Canan Y. Saylam 3
1Department of Otolaryngology, Ege University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
2Department of Otolaryngology, Ege University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
3Department of Anatomy, Ege University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5152/balkanmedj.2016.150864
Pages : 552-555

Abstract

Background: The exposure of the round window (RW) through the facial recess (FR) is sometimes partial. The anatomic variations that alter RW exposure during cochleostomy have not been clearly defined to date.

Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the best FR position in which to achieve the widest exposure of the RW niche and to define the topographic relationship between two other important anatomical structures, the facial nerve (FN) and the chorda tympani (CT).

Study Design: Cadaver study.

Methods: Twenty-four temporal bones were included in the study. Anterior and posterior epitympanectomy and posterior tympanotomy were performed after mastoidectomy. Bone was removed until the FN and CT were skeletonized and the CT branching point was visible. Two pictures were taken. The first was taken when the facial recess was at its widest exposure, while the second was taken when the RW niche was maximally exposed through the facial recess. Various measurements were taken.

Results: The RW niche was totally visible in 19 temporal bones (79.2%). The RW was partially visible in the remaining five bones (20.8%). The unexposed part of the RW lay posteromedial to the FN in these five bones. While the branching point of the CT could be visualized in all cases at the widest exposure of RW, the part of the FN distal to the branching point was hidden in eight subjects (33.3%) under the posterior wall of the external ear canal.

Conclusions: The RW niche was totally visible in most of the temporal bones. The RW lay posteromedial to the FN in some cases and total exposure was impossible.

Keywords : Round window, facial recess, chorda tympani, cochlear implantation
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