Otology, Neurotology, Skull Base Surgery

Benjamin M. McGrew, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Benjamin McGrew is board certified in Otolaryngology and Neurotology.

After completing residency and obtaining board certification in Otolaryngology, Dr. McGrew sought to focus his career on ear surgery and cranial base surgery by obtaining additional training in the subspecialties of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery.

He was accepted into a prestigious two-year fellowship in Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery under the direction of internationally acclaimed ear surgeons, Dr. Michael Glasscock and Dr. C. Gary Jackson, at The Otology Group in Nashville, Tennessee in association with Vanderbilt University.

After completing fellowship training, he was recruited to Honolulu, HI and began his career as the only Neurotologist in the state.  While in Hawaii, he performed ear surgery on patients living throughout the pacific rim including the Hawaiian islands, Alaska, Taiwan, Japan, Fiji, multiple small pacific islands, and the western coastal Unitied States.  His skull base surgery experience developed further in Hawaii after he partnered in a skull base surgery program with world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Takanori Fukushima. He also traveled to Japan with Dr. Fukushima, lecturing across the country on methods of Skull Base Surgery.

Dr. McGrew was then recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) specifically to develop a Skull Base Surgery program in 2002. He practiced at UAB for 17 years, holding joint academic appointments in the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery. At UAB, he served as the Medical Director for the Department of Otolaryngology for more than 10 years. He trained over 100 otolaryngology and neurosurgery residents who now practice across the country.

He partnered with neurosurgeon Dr. Winfield Fisher III and successfully developed a thriving Skull Base Surgery program. Together, they removed over 700 tumors of the skull base, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, paragangliomas, and other rare tumors. To date, Dr. McGrew has the largest cohort of surgeries for malignant cancers of the ear and temporal bone in the world.

In order to restore hearing in deaf patients, he greatly expanded the cochlear implant program  and brought Auditory Brainstem Implants to the State of Alabama.  Dr. Fisher and he placed the first Auditory Brainstem Implant in the State of Alabama, allowing restoration of hearing by direct electrical stimulation of the brainstem in patients with deafness caused by certain types of brain tumors.

Dr. McGrew has vast experience treating medical and surgical diseases of the ear.  He has performed thousands of surgeries for chronic infections of the ear, cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, hearing loss, and an extensive spectrum of rare and common otologic pathologies alike. He pioneered a novel surgical technique for placing bone-anchored hearing implants with improved patient outcomes. His cochlear implant practice is one of the largest in the southeastern United States.

Dr McGrew has served his community often dedicating 30% of his time for treatment of ear diseases in the indigent population through the University system and county hospital system. He also served the country’s veterans by treating ear disease through the Veteran’s Administration Hopsital systems for more than 20 years. 

In  2019, despite a successful, busy, and fulfilling university practice, Dr. McGrew was excited to pursue a dream to form an elite group of fellowship trained and board certified Neurotologists.  A partnership between Dr. McGrew, Dr. Dennis Pappas Jr. and Dr. Grayson Rodgers began and allowed the formation of the only medical practice in the region comprised purely of fellowship trained ear surgeons with practices that focus solely on ear disease and tumors of the adjacent skull base.  This unique partnership provides a combined experience of more than 75 years treating ear disease with synergy in expertise and collaboration for complex and difficult problems of hearing, dizziness, the ear, and skull base.

Dr. McGrew has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally and published numerous scientific studies in the field of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base surgery.

Education and Training:

Baylor University (1985-1989): B.A. (Physics)

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (1989-1993): M.D.

West Virginia University (1993-1998): General Surgery Internship and Otolaryngology Residency

The Otology Group (Vanderbilt University affiliate) (1998-2000): Neurotology Fellowship


Selected Major Publications:


McGrew BM, Jackson CG, Glasscock ME. Impact of mastoidectomy on simple tympanic membrane perforation repair. Laryngoscope. 2004 Mar;114(3):506-11.


Fort MM, Scarbrough ME, McGrew BM. The Cleating Stitch: An Adjunctive Technique for Percutaneous and Revision Osseointegration Screws. Otol Neurotol. 2018 Dec;39(10):1285-1290.


Forest JA, Jackson CG, McGrew BM. Long-term control of surgically treated glomus tympanicum tumors. Otol Neurotol. 2001 Mar;22(2):232-6.


McGrew BM, Jackson CG, Redtfeldt RA. Lateral skull base malignancies. Neurosurg Focus. 2002 May 15;12(5):e8.


Battaglia A, McGrew BM, Jackson CG. Reconstruction of the entire ossicular conduction mechanism. Laryngoscope. 2003 Apr;113(4):654-8.