The long-term efficacy of endolymphatic sac procedures for control of vertigo in Meinere's disease has been controversial. We evaluated results of sac shunt surgery for 234 patients having at least 10 years followup (mean, 13.5 years). All patients had persistent vestibular symptoms despite medical therapy. All underwent endolymphatic subarachnoid shunt as their original operation. Data were collected by chart review and questionnaire regarding: (1) the number of additional surgical procedures to control vertigo, (2) remaining dizziness, and (3) level of disability. One hundred forty-seven of the patients (63%) did not undergo any further surgery to control vertigo, and an additional 17% had only revisions of the endolymphatic sac shunt. Thus, 80% never required a destructive procedure. Long-term effectiveness of surgery in regard to dizziness and disability was determined from the questionnaire. Of the 147 patients with only the original sac shunt surgery, 93% reported no dizziness or mild to no disability. Of the group who underwent only revisions of the original shunt, 96% stated they had no more dizziness or mild to no disability. We conclude that endolymphatic sac shunt operations are effective as initial surgical procedures for long-term control of disabling vertigo of Meniere's disease.
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