CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2017; 21(02): 191-194
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1599784
Systematic Review – The Surgical Management of Vestibular Disorders
Thieme-Revinter Publicações Ltda Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Surgical Treatment for Recurrent Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Gonzalo Corvera Behar
1  Instituto Mexicano de Otología y Neurotología S.C., México, DF, Mexico
Miguel Alfredo García de la Cruz
1  Instituto Mexicano de Otología y Neurotología S.C., México, DF, Mexico
2  Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea González, México, DF, Mexico
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

02 December 2016

01 February 2017

Publication Date:
31 March 2017 (online)



Introduction Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a generally benign condition that responds to repositioning maneuvers and frequently resolves spontaneously. However, for some patients it can become a disabling condition in which surgery must be considered. Two different surgical techniques exist, singular neurectomy and posterior semicircular canal occlusion.

Objective The objective of this study is to review the current status of singular nerve section and posterior semicircular canal occlusion as treatments for intractable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, and to determine if there are published data available that favors one over the other.

Data Sources MEDLINE and OLDMEDLINE databases of the National Library of Medicine.

Data Synthesis Four studies regarding singular neurectomy and 14 reports on semicircular canal occlusion were analyzed. Both techniques are reported to provide similar symptomatic benefit, with low risk of hearing loss and balance impairment. However, anatomical and clinical studies of singular neurectomy show it to be a more challenging technique, and considering that it is indicated in a very small number of cases, it may be difficult to master.

Conclusions Both singular neurectomy and semicircular canal occlusion can be safe and effective in those few patients that require surgery for intractable positional vertigo. Although semicircular canal occlusion requires a postauricular transmastoid approach, it is ultimately easier to learn and perform adequately, and thus may be considered the best alternative.