Dubai, UAE: Patients are now set to benefit from a new understanding of the anatomy of the Eustachian Tube, a vital part of the middle ear, because of pioneering work by the American Hospital Dubai.
Dysfunction of the Eustachian tube is the most common reason for patients visiting and seeking treatment at ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) departments worldwide.
The medical understanding of the Eustachian tube has been refined after a research collaboration undertaken by an international committee of 15 ENT specialists, including Dr Muaaz Tarabichi, Head of ENT Department, American Hospital Dubai.
It comes nearly 500 years after the Eustachian tube was first identified and described by Italian anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachio in 1562 in Rome.
The committee’s re-evaluation of the Eustachian tube was made possible by the use of middle-ear endoscopes (probes) to create direct access to and viewing of the Eustachian Tube.
Dr Tarabichi was the first ENT surgeon to perform Endoscopic Ear Surgery (EES) in 1992, the hospital said. He developed the procedure at American Hospital Dubai, which is acknowledged as the ‘birthplace’ of EES.
With the benefits of ear endoscopy, the committee was able to redefine the structure of the Eustachian tube and develop a new understanding and a clearer and more distinct description of an area that is now increasingly accessible for surgical interventions. This new anatomical understanding will be reported across international ENT organisations and will be adopted as the official position on Eustachian tubes.
Dr Tarabichi said, “With this greater understanding and access to the inner ear made possible by middle ear endoscopy, we will be in a better position to correct Eustachian tube dysfunctions and so improve patient outcomes. To create a new view of the anatomy first described almost 500 years ago and to be able to add to this knowledge, is special and very satisfying.”
ENT specialists from Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Italy and the US worked as part of the international committee alongside Dr Tarabichi, taking three months to complete the re-evaluation of the Eustachian tube.
The Eustachian tubes are a pair of narrow tubes that run from each middle ear to high in the back of the throat, behind the nasal passages. The throat end of the tubes opens and closes to regulate air pressure in the middle ear, refresh air in the ear, and drain normal secretions from the middle ear.
Swelling, inflammation and mucus in the Eustachian taubes from an upper respiratory infection or allergy can block them, causing the accumulation of fluids in the middle ear. A bacterial or viral infection of this fluid is usually what produces the symptoms of an ear infection.
© Gulf NewsSep 2016