In 1829 the field of otology was born at The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, with the first documented treatment of diseases of the ear. Since that time, the field of otology has expanded to include treatment and surgery of the adjacent structures related to the ear and is known as neurotology.
Otology entails treatment of disorders of the external, middle, and inner ear. Diseases such as ear infections, hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo are treated by an otologist.
Neurotology includes treatment of disorders of the skull base such as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, glomus tumors and facial nerve disorders.
The care of patients with retrocochlear or skull base lesions is coordinated through the Otology/Neurotology Service. This includes all diagnostic testing, the scheduling of surgery, and extended post-operative care including the rehabilitation of swallowing, vestibular and facial nerve disorders, as necessary. Most of these lesions involve the participation of a neurosurgical team along with the neurotology team based at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. Patients with vascular tumors may undergo embolization prior to the resection of the tumor.
The most common base of skull lesions are benign and include acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, vascular tumors and paraganliomas, and epidermoid tumors. While malignant lesions are rarely seen, the most common primary malignant lesions include squamous cell carcinomas, adenocarcinomas, adenoid cystic carcinomas, and mucoepidermoid carcinomas. The most common metastatic tumors are those from the breast, prostate, kidney and lung.