Results

The argon laser has been used for stapes surgery for two decades, and the fiberoptic argon laser has been used for more than one decade. The question of visible light laser safety has been answered by the paucity of reported clinical complications in the literature. In a review of more than 2200 cases, there were no cases of significant sensorineural hearing loss or facial nerve injury.34 In the report of our first 43 patients undergoing fiberoptic argon laser stapedotomy, 72% of patients had closure of the air-bone gap to within 5 dB, 19% had closure to within 10 dB, and 9% had closure to within 15 dB.14 In our review of 300 patients, our results had changed very little. Closure of the air-bone gap to within 5 dB was found in 73%, 20% had closure to within 10 dB, and 7% had closure to within 15 dB.21 These results are similar to those reported for the CO2 laser (91% within 10 dB) and the KTP-532 (90% within 10 dB).27'29

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