A stapedotomy (or stapedectomy) is an operation to help improve hearing in those patients who suffer from a condition called otosclerosis. The hearing loss in otosclerosis is a result of the stapes bone (the third of three hearing bones in your ear) becoming fixed. In this operation a part of the stapes is removed and replaced with an artificial piston.
You will have had a consultation with your Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon and discussed the problem you have with your hearing. Your ears would have been examined and you would have had a hearing test.
Your surgeon will have discussed the findings and the possibility that your hearing loss is due to otosclerosis. The only way of knowing for sure is by looking into the middle ear after lifting up the eardrum at the time of the operation. He will have discussed the various options available to you and this includes use of a hearing aid.
If you have decided to have the operation he will have discussed the likely outcomes following this. After the stapedotomy, the hearing is usually improved. Occasionally the hearing is not significantly better and only exceptionally is it worse.
This operation could be performed under local or general anaesthetic and this would have been discussed with you. You are usually admitted on the day of the operation and can expect to be discharged within 24 to 36 hours. The operation involves making a cut just in the canal of the ear to allow the surgeon to lift the eardrum along with the skin of the ear canal. Once the finding of otosclerosis is confirmed, the operation is performed. At the end of the operation the wound is closed with stitches and a pack (dressing) is inserted into the ear canal. These are usually removed within one to two weeks after the operation.
Your ear may be painful, tender and numb for the first few weeks. Painkillers may be taken as prescribed.
It is common for your ear to feel quite blocked due to the presence of a pack as well as blood and dissolvable sponge in your ear. The pack and stitches will be removed one to two weeks after the operation.
You will be asked to use eardrops for a period after the operation. Initially you are advised to instil the drops over the pack. Once the pack is removed, you would continue to use the drops till instructed.
You will also hear crackling and noises in your ear. Sometimes the ear will itch and you are advised not to scratch.
The dissolvable sponge and blood in your ear takes longer to disappear and it may be up to 3 months before you notice a hearing improvement.
Occasionally there may be slight bloodstained discharge from the ear / wound for the first few days. You may use a ball of cotton wool in your ear to soak this.
You may experience slight dizziness or noises for some time after the operation. Occasionally some may notice a change in taste sensation, as the taste nerve runs under the ear drum and can be stretched during the operation.
You could use cotton wool and Vaseline to protect your ear and wound while you wash your hair in the first few weeks after the operation.
Avoid blowing your nose or sniffing for 4 weeks after surgery. If sneezing occurs do so with the mouth open to avoid the build up of pressure in the ear. Exercising, heavy lifting (that requires any degree of straining), and air travel should be avoided for 4 weeks after surgery.
While all operations have risks of side effects, the incidence of side effects following stapedotomy is low.
Rarely, infection may develop in the wound. If so you may notice increased pain with/without discharge. This will settle with antibiotics. Unfortunately infections after stapedotomy often damage the hearing and balance and could leave a hole in the eardrum, which may need to be repaired with a further operation.
Rarely (less than 1%) patients may experience a permanent worsening of their hearing after the operation.
This Information Leaflet is only a guide to stapes surgery and does not replace a full and detailed discussion with your surgeon regarding your condition, the benefits and risks of the operation, and other alternative treatments available.
For Appointments : Secretary : +91 9654518169
Dr Suresh Naruka, Associate ENT Consultant : +91 9654835227
Dr Ameet Kishore, Sr ENT Consultant : +91 9871729898
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I wanted to thank you immensely for the help that you provided to my father and thus to our family by giving him the gift of hearing. He is now recovering well and is able to hear all the conversations as normally as anyone else can.
My father, underwent a Stapedotomy ear surgery to correc ct his hearing problem, first in one ear and then 6 months later in the other. The result of the surgery was better than expected and post full recovery my father is able to hear very well. Read More »
My experience with cochlear implant My name is Gerald Andrew; I am 29 year old male Tanzanian. Last year (2009) was one of the most memorable for me. It’s when I received my cochlear implant at Apollo hospital in New Delhi after more than three years of hearing loss. Everyone’s experience with coch hlear implant is a bit different therefore, am happy to share mine with anybody out there, from the moment I lost my hearing, my experience during my stay at Apollo Hospital and one year later on, after cochlear implant. Read More »