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Case report
Sudden onset hearing loss following intra-abdominal surgery: an unusual association
  1. Christopher SG Thompson1,2,
  2. Rohit Gohil3 and
  3. Mary-Louise Montague2
  1. 1Anatomy, University of Edinburgh Division of Health Sciences, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Otolaryngology, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Department of Otolaryngology, NHS Lothian, Livingston, UK
  1. Correspondence to Christopher SG Thompson; chris.thompson2{at}


We describe the case of a 12-year-old boy who reported unilateral hearing loss following laparoscopic appendicectomy for acute appendicitis under general anaesthesia. He was otherwise fit and well with no previous otological history. Formal audiological assessment by pure tone audiogram demonstrated a unilateral high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).

In addition to describing his clinical course, a literature review of SNHL following non-otological surgery was performed. We recommend an awareness of this phenomenon, necessitating its prompt recognition, early audiological assessment and management as per sudden onset SNHL guidelines.

  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • anaesthesia
  • paediatrics
  • paediatric surgery

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  • Contributors CSGT, RG and M-LM: Case identification, manuscript writing and manuscript checking. CSGT and RG: Literature search.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.