The Impact of Acute Loss of Weight on Eustachian Tube Function
17 February 2014
21 March 2014
18 July 2014 (online)
Introduction The eustachian tube is one of the key structures responsible for the functional balance of the middle ear. Some clinical conditions associated with tubal malfunction can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms could be triggered by acute loss of weight, for example, after bariatric surgery.
Objective To evaluate the frequency and intensity of auditory tube dysfunction symptoms in obese patients after bariatric surgery.
Methods Nineteen patients with accepted formal indications for bariatric surgery underwent a hearing evaluation (otoscopy, tonal and vocal audiometry, and impedanceometry) and a hearing questionnaire before, at the time of, 3 months after surgery (first postoperative evaluation), and 6 months (second postoperative evaluation) after surgery. Patients with a history of ear disease or ear surgery were excluded.
Results None of the patients reported tubal dysfunction symptoms before surgery. Postsurgical results showed that 5 (26.3%) patients presented symptoms related to dysfunction of the eustachian tube at the first postoperative evaluation. After the 6-month follow-up, 9 (47.3%) patients reported symptoms of tubal dysfunction.
Conclusion This study suggests that bariatric surgery can cause symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction, probably due to rapid weight loss and the consequent loss of peritubal fat.
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