How is the patient positioned for cerumen impaction removal?

Updated: May 09, 2018
  • Author: F Carl van Wyk, MB, ChB, MRCS, FRCS(Edin); Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Patient positioning may vary according to individual clinician preference or may be dictated by anatomical limitations.

  • Usually, the patient is semi-reclined. Although having the patient sitting upright saves positioning time, the attic region is difficult to access with the patient in this position.

  • Positioning the patient supine with the head on a pillow simulates the operative view and allows good access to the external ear canal and tympanic membrane, including the attic. The supine position also aids patient stability. This is particularly beneficial if the patient experiences vertigo during the microsuction, as is often the case after mastoidectomy.

Patient positioning and room setup are shown in the images below.

Correct patient and care provider positioning is i Correct patient and care provider positioning is important and improves visualization of the external canal and tympanic membrane.
Room setup for cerumen removal. Room setup for cerumen removal.

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