When a disease called otosclerosis strikes the middle ear, the stapes – which is the smallest bone of the ear and also of our body – goes static, stops vibrating and the sound conduction part of hearing mechanism is disturbed leading to hearing loss. Stapes surgery (or stapedectomy) is a microsurgery that involves construction of an alternative sound conduction mechanism to bypass the fixed stapes to restore hearing. This is an hour-long surgery and is usually performed under general anaesthesia, though some surgeons may prefer to operate with local anaesthesia.
- Hearing loss due to otosclerosis
Why this surgery?
- Stapes surgery is an elective procedure (not a life-saving surgery) that one can choose to have or not have. However, if opted, it will improve the quality of life by freeing one’s dependence on cumbersome hearing aids.
Though, a stapes surgery will not stop progression of otosclerosis but it can improve a person’s hearing a great deal by constructing an alternative sound conducting mechanism.
Know more about Stapes Surgery
Following precautions are to be taken before the surgery: –
- Till the preceding night of the surgery the patient must take all medications prescribed by the ENT surgeon. The patient is advised to bring along all prescribed and non-prescribed medicines that he/she is currently taking in original packaging.
- The patient must get a good night’s sleep and should not eat anything at all from midnight onwards prior to the surgery day.
- The patient should bring the hospital file at the time of the check-in for surgery including all required test reports such as the major surgical profile, audiological evaluation reports, pre- anaesthetic check-up sheet, radiological investigation films and reports (X-ray, CT scan, MRI, PET scan etc.) and any others investigations advised by your ENT surgeon. It is advised to ready this file a day before the surgery.
- The patient must shampoo their hair before the surgery day. Male patients are advised to ensure a short haircut.
- The patient should be accompanied by an attendant. It is advised to bring along a close family member.
- The patient should report at the hospital at least three hours prior to the surgery’s scheduled timing.
- Report at the reception desk in time and the hospital staff will guide through the next steps.
- Be sure to mention it to the doctor and anaesthetist there is any as cough, cold, fever or throat pain. Mention beforehand if allergic to any drugs.
- In the first 24 hours, complete bed rest is recommended. Do not lie on the side of the operated ear.
- Food or drink is not allowed for 4-5 hours after surgery. After that water is allowed. Caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee or aerated drinks are to be avoided. Semi-solid diet in moderate quantities is allowed after 12 hours and normal food from second day onwards.
- After discharge, all medications are to be taken as prescribed by the surgeon. If the prescription medicines cause any drug reactions such as rashes or stomach upset etc., call the doctor immediately.
- Do not oil your hair or clean your ear till it is allowed.
- Stay away from people with cough and cold.
- Do not blow nose with excessive force and while sneezing, do so with your mouth open.
- Do not have a head bath for a full one month after the surgery. No water should get into the ear. However, daily bath that does not wet or spoil your head bandage till the time it is on your head, is allowed.
- Do not sleep on the operated side for a month afterwards.
- Do not undertake strenuous work or travel by air for a month afterwards.
- Can resume regular office work/house work after 3 days of surgery (unless specially advised by the operating surgeon)
- Swimming and other water activities are allowed after 3 months of the surgery. However, high-pressure activities such as diving or deep-water swimming etc should be avoided. Surgeon’s permission is must before planning any such activity.
- Change the cotton outside the ear three times a day using the method demonstrated by the hospital staff and clean behind your ear while bathing.
- Wear cotton balls or ear plugs over the ear opening.
- Keep an eye open for excessive ear discharge.
A stapes surgery carries some risks that one should know prior to giving consent to this treatment. They are as follows: –
- Loss of hearing: An occasional patient (1 patient in every 100 for experienced surgeons) can suffer from further hearing impairment due to damage to the inner ear. This hearing impairment can be to a severe extent (not remediable even by hearing aid) in the operated ear. Therefore, surgeons usually operate upon the poorer hearing ear first to minimize risk.
- Dizziness: Dizziness for a few hours after the surgery is normal. In some cases, it may last longer.
- Taste disturbance: The taste nerve runs close to the eardrum and may sustain some damage to cause abnormal taste on one side of the tongue. While this taste disturbance is mostly a temporary phenomenon, it may be permanent in some cases (up to 1 in 10 cases).
- Tinnitus: If the hearing loss worsens, the patient may suffer from tinnitus or noises in the ear.
- Allergic reaction to ear dressings: Occasionally the ear may show allergy to the dressings in the ear canal leading to a red, swollen and inflamed pinna (outer ear). Consult the surgeon for dressing removal and settling down of the allergic reaction.
- Other complications: As a stapes surgery entails some degree of risk toward total loss of hearing, along with possible disturbance of balance or taste, it could have serious implications for certain careers (like chef, musician, teacher, sportsperson, dancer etc). It is advised to discuss all the concerns with the ENT surgeon well in advance. Some ENT surgeons also advise the patient against scuba diving, sky diving or use of firearms after a stapes surgery.
Why Dr Rao’s ENT?
Best Success Rate – Stapes Surgery when conducted by expert surgeon delivers very successful outcomes.
World Class Technology
- HD Endoscopes – Provides precise visualisation. Ensures minimal invasive surgical procedure.
- Zeiss Vario Microscope (Germany) – Brings neurosurgical precision to ENT surgeries.
- Lumenis AcuPulse DUO with complete ENT accessories (USA) – Customised beam delivery for superior clinical results and improved patient safety.