Monopolar Electrosurgery With Cochlear Implants by Nathan D Cass

Laryngoscope. 2023 Apr;133(4):933-937. doi: 10.1002/lary.30323. Epub 2022 Aug 3.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate safety of monopolar electrosurgery (MES) in patients with cochlear implants (CIs) by reporting outcomes of a series of patients who underwent MES after CI.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

SETTING: Tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Patients with indwelling CI subsequently undergoing surgery with operative note specifically detailing MES use.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adverse outcomes in post-operative audiology/otolaryngology documentation; speech recognition scores.

RESULTS: Thirty-five patients (10 with bilateral CI) experienced 63 unique MES exposure events, 85.7% below and 14.3% above the clavicle. No adverse events or decreased performance due to MES use were reported for any patient. Pre- and immediate postoperative speech recognition scores were not significantly different for patients using either consonant-nucleus-consonant (CNC; n = 23, 68%-66%, p = 0.80) or AzBio (n = 15, 82%-88%, p = 0.60). For individual CNC performance, 21 (91%) patients demonstrated stability, 1 improved >15%, and 1 declined >15%, although this patient had become a non-user due to magnet issues and, after resolution of these issues, exceeded baseline pre-operative score. For individual AzBio performance, 12 (80%) patients demonstrated stability, 3 improved >15%, and none declined >15%.

CONCLUSIONS: No adverse events resulted from MES use in CI patients. Given the increased prevalence and expansion of indications for CIs, and widespread utility of MES, we suggest clarification and improved guidance from device manufacturers regarding safety and use of MES for patients with these devices. We hope that data regarding electrosurgery exposure events will better inform clinician decision-making with regards to relative benefits and risks for MES use for CI patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 133:933-937, 2023.

PMID:36919639 | DOI:10.1002/lary.30323