Stable, self-cleansing retraction pockets of the pars tensa are common incidental findings and require no treatment. In other cases, recurrent discharge occurs and there may also be associated conductive hearing loss. In a minority of cases, cholesteatoma may develop. This paper presents the results of surgery using a graft composed of cartilage and perichondrium for retraction pockets involving the posterior half of the tympanic membrane, as well as early results using a larger graft designed to manage retraction of the entire tympanic membrane. Data on 51 patients with posterior retraction pockets are presented. Forty-two (82 per cent) patients had no aural discharge one year following surgery and the tympanic membrane was not retracted in 43 (84 per cent). The larger 'Mercedes-Benz' graft was used in four patients and the results obtained suggested that it may prove a successful technique for extensive retraction pockets.
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