COVID-19 and otologic surgery

Donald Tan, Kristen L. Yancey, Jacob B. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we aim to summarize the impacts of COVID-19 on the practice of otologic surgery. Cadaveric studies have indicated COVID-19 viral particles are present in the middle ear mucosa of infected hosts. Otologic procedures can generate significant amounts of droplets due to reliance on high-speed drills. Multiple guidelines have been developed to improve patient and provider safety peri-operatively. Particle dispersion can be mitigated during microscopic mastoidectomy by utilizing barrier drape techniques. The barrier drape may similarly be applied to the surgical exoscope. Endoscopic techniques have theoretical improved safety benefits by minimizing the need for drilling. The discoveries and innovations borne of the COVID-19 pandemic will lay the groundwork for the practice of otology amidst future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalOperative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Cadaver
  • Ear
  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Middle
  • Mucous Membrane
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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