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A comparison of CO2 laser versus traditional stapedectomy outcomes.The aim of this study was to audit the introduction of the use of the CO2 laser into our department and to compare hearing outcomes and complication rates in patients who underwent either laser or mechanical stapedectomy. We found that the use of laser is at least as safe as the traditional approach with regards the rate of post-operative complications. One patient in the laser group suffered prolonged post-operative tinnitus, whilst one patient in the traditional group suffered prolonged post-operative vertigo. There was no evidence, however, of improved Air-Bone Gap closure compared to the traditional approach (Pre- and Post-Op Air Bone Gaps of 34 +/- 3 and 9 +/- 2 for laser stapedectomy versus 35 +/- 4 and 13 +/- 2 for traditional stapedectomy (mean +/- SEM)). In summary, therefore, CO2 laser surgery for otosclerosis is a safe surgical procedure resulting in similar hearing outcomes to that obtained following mechanical stapes surgery.