Endolymphatic shunt


An endolymphatic shunt is a surgical procedure in which a very small silicone tube is placed in the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear to drain excess fluid.


An endolymphatic shunt is placed as part of the treatment of Ménière's disease, a disorder of the inner ear whose causes are still unknown. Ménière's disease is characterized by the following symptoms:

Endolymphatic shunt surgery is one of the surgical procedures available to treat Ménière's disease, which is also known as endolymphatic hydrops. The surgery is based on the theory that the disorder causes the inner ear to become overloaded with fluid and that draining this fluid will relieve the symptoms. The fluid is drained by opening the endolymphatic sac, a pouch located next to the mastoid bone at the end of the endolymphatic duct. The endolymphatic duct is a canal that leads to the inner ear.


According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), there were an estimated three to five million cases of Ménière's disease in the United States in 1998, with nearly 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually. In most cases only one ear is affected, but as many as 15–40% of patients are affected in both ears. The onset of Ménière's disease occurs most often in adults between the ages of 20 and 50. Men and women are affected in equal numbers.


An endolymphatic shunt is placed with the patient under general anesthesia. The operation takes about two hours to perform. The patient is usually positioned lying on the back with the head turned to one side and the affected ear lying uppermost. The head is immobilized and supported with a pad or brace. The operation itself begins with opening the mastoid bone and identifying the endolymphatic sac. To find the sac, the surgeon removes the bony cover of the sigmoid sinus, which is an S-shaped cavity behind the mastoid bone. The surgeon leaves intact a small rectangle of thin bone called Bill's Island (named for Dr. William House). The sigmoid sinus is then collapsed with gentle pressure. The surgeon exposes the endolymphatic sac and makes an incision in it in order to insert the shunt.


The diagnosis of Ménière's disease is based on the patient's medical history, a physical examination , and the results of hearing tests, balance tests, an electronystagmogram, and imaging studies. An MRI or CT scan is performed to rule out a tumor as the cause of the patient's symptoms. A hearing test (audiogram) identifies the hearing loss that is typical of Ménière's disease. Balance function tests are administered to assess the patient's vertigo.

The patient is prepared for surgery by having the hair removed and the skin shaved over an area of at least 1.5 in (3.8 cm) around the site of the incision. A mild solution of soap and water is commonly used to cleanse the outer ear and surrounding skin.


The operated ear is covered with a Glassock dressing, which is a special dressing applied to keep pressure on the site to reduce swelling. There is usually some tenderness and discomfort in the operated ear and the throat (from the breathing tube inserted during surgery), which can be controlled by such analgesic medications as meperidine (Demerol) or oxycodone (Percocet).


There are few risks associated with endolymphatic shunt surgery. The operation is considered the first-line surgical treatment for Ménière's disease precisely because it is very safe. The chance of hearing loss from the procedure is about 0.5%.

Normal results

Endolymphatic shunt surgery relieves the vertigo associated with Ménière's disease, with restoration of hearing dependent on the severity of the disease. The patient's ear may protrude slightly shortly after surgery but usually returns to its original position within two to three weeks after the operation. Numbness around the ear is a common complication that may last for several months.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Endolymphatic shunt surgery is considered a lowmorbidity procedure. It has been reported to achieve complete or substantial control of vertigo in 81% of patients, with significant improvement in hearing in about 20%. Overall, there is a 60% chance of curing the vertigo, a 20% chance that the attacks will remain at the same level of severity, and a 20% chance that the attacks will get worse. The patient's vertigo usually improves even if hearing does not improve.


Nonsurgical alternatives

There are several nonsurgical treatments recommended for patients with Ménière's disease:


Surgical alternatives to the placement of an endolymphatic shunt include:



Graham, M. D. Treatment Options for Ménière's Disease: Endolymphatic Sac Surgery: Do It or Don't Do It and Why? San Diego: Singular Publishing, 1998.

Haybach, P. J., and J. Underwood. Ménière's Disease: What You Need to Know . Portland, OR: Vestibular Disorders Association, 1998.

"Ménière's Disease." In The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy , edited by Mark H. Beers, MD, and Robert Berkow, MD. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 1999.


Brookler, K. H. "A Patient with Endolymphatic Hydrops Refractory to Shunt Surgery." Ear Nose Throat Journal 79 (July 2000): 493.

Goksu, N., Y. A. Bayazit, A. Abdulhalik, and Y. K. Kemaloglu. "Vestibular Neurectomy with Simultaneous Endolymphatic Subarachnoid Shunt." European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology 259 (May 2002): 243-246.

Mason, T. P. "What is Ménière's Disease, and How is it Treated?" Health News 9 (April 2003): 12.

Ostrowski, V. B., and J. M. Kartush. " Endolymphatic Sac-Vein Decompression for Intractable Ménière's Disease: Long Term Treatment Results." Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 128 (April 2003): 550-559.

Welling, D. B., and H. N. Nagaraja. "Endolymphatic Mastoid Shunt: a Reevaluation of Efficacy." Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 122 (March 2000): 340-345.


American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. One Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 806-4444. http://www.entnet.org .

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). 31 Center Drive, MSC 2320, Bethesda, MD 20892-2320. (800) 241-1044. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ .

Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA). PO Box 4467, Portland, OR 97208-4467. (800) 837-8428. http://www.vestibular.org .


"Ménière's Disease–Surgical Therapy." UPennHealth. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/balance/patient%20education%20brochures/Meniere's-Surgical%20Treatment.htm .

Monique Laberge, PhD


An endolymphatic shunt is performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center on an outpatient basis. It is done by an otolaryngologist, who is a surgeon specializing in disorders of the ear, nose, and throat.


User Contributions:

Menieres 20 years
Excellent summary.

I have a suggestion for an additional question to add to "Questions to ask the Doctor"; how long can a patient expect to enjoy the benefits of this procedure?

I am asking this because I don't know what either the answer or the estimate might be. In my case I had and Endolymphatic Sac Decompression performed (Graduate, Phila) in 1997, and in 2003 the symptoms returned in one complete and exacerbated instant.

My suspicion is that this happened because of an acute diuretic exchange in my body while I slept - although I was waking when I felt the onset of fullness and hyperamplified tinnitus. I also believe that the shunt is clogged or entirely displaced. I would welcome any comments about my own guess-work. I have a follow-up appointment scheduled (this after giving up on clincal mitigation the problem over 18 months ago). I intend to ask for an MRI on both my affected ear and on my good ear to compare the size of the Sac (albeit the affected ear has already been altered by the existing shunt). After reading this article I think that my own issue is a maintenance problem more than a degradation of the ear itself...?

Again, any comments would be welcomed.
Joe Zuchowski
Is this Shunt MRI compatible? I have a patient that needs an MRI and I am trying to rule out contraidications for this test.
My husband just had this surgery and we are waiting to see whether his symptoms are relieved. But our surgeon said he has only had to do this surgery twice on one patient because scar tissue had built up around the shunt so he had to go in and replace it. This happened after 10 years. Good luck!
Yesterday while driving home in the evening traffic, a sudden attack of vertigo came on really hard and fast. I managed to make it off the road. It lasted about a minute. I had the shunt operation about 6 years ago.
Has this happened to anyone else out there?
Please God, no more vertigo...
I had a shunt operation 5wks ago. Thank God so far no vertigo attacks only mild dizziness a couple of times. My problem is that my ear still feels full and my head echos whenever I talk
or sing. Small problem I know compared to the bad vertigo attacks I use to have.
Will this fullness and echoing go away?
Where can I locate surgeons in the Philadelphia area. Can someone provide me with a list. What is the down time for this surgery, inasmuch as not being allowed to work outside the home, etc. I am 61 years old, and employed full-tim. I watch my salt intake, am taking effexor, and the lowest dose of Valium. I have dizzy spells AND spinning sensations that were somewhat controlled after balance therapy about a years and a half ago. I was leaving my position, the horrible spinning sensation came over me, my car left the road and hit a tree, totally my car, but I was not hurt only my chest from the seatbelt tightness. The original doctor that I was led to who came to me highly in enter city Phila. never mentioned this surgery, but did mention Gentamyacin injection. Can someone please lead me to the best doctor in Philadelphia who performs endolymphatic surgery. Thank you.
Where can I locate surgeons in the Philadelphia area. Can someone provide me with a list. What is the down time for this surgery, inasmuch as not being allowed to work outside the home, etc. I am 61 years old, and employed full-tim. I watch my salt intake, am taking effexor, and the lowest dose of Valium. I have dizzy spells AND spinning sensations that were somewhat controlled after balance therapy about a years and a half ago. I was leaving my position, the horrible spinning sensation came over me, my car left the road and hit a tree, totally my car, but I was not hurt only my chest from the seatbelt tightness. The original doctor that I was led to who came to me highly in enter city Phila. never mentioned this surgery, but did mention Gentamyacin injection. Can someone please lead me to the best doctor in Philadelphia who performs endolymphatic surgery. Thank you.
I had this procedure done by a specialist in Houston, Texas 5 weeks ago. So far, nothing good to report. I am still recovering. He has me on fluid pills and prescribed me a compound called Transderm. I rub a bit on the inside of each wrist in the morning and at bedtime. I still get the Vertigo symptoms, but I can usually end it by focusing on something specific until the spinning stops. I can say, though, that he told me recovery would be about 1 week and it's been 5 weeks and I'm still unable to walk straight or do anything by myself. AFTER the surgery he told me that 4-6 weeks recovery is not uncommon. My original doctor never mentioned that there were procedures that might help. I was very happy to find a doctor in Houston. It was outpatient and I spent the night in a nearby hotel. Hopefully within another week or so, I will be back to normal with a whole lot less of those horrible, debilitating attacks!!
Here is the info for Meniere's Disease and the procedure that Alan Shepard had.
After two months of Vertigo, Docs finally stopped calling it an ear infection and did further tests which resulted in my diagnosis. I haven?t found a good remedy, although if I am not stressed or tired or doing a lot of travel, I don't experience it that much.
I am scheduled for the shunt surgery next week on my right ear,then later on the left ear. In all that I have read I don't find where the shunt drains the fluid, does it go down the throat or some other way?
I have also begun having pain and pressure in my right eye. The Dr says this would not be related to Menier's disease. My eye doctor checked my field of vision and said it was limited, but the neuro-ophthalmologist says my field of vision is fine. He has given me neuroton to deal with the pain, but the pressure remains. Has anyone else had similar issues?

My wife read somewhere that people can have throat problems after the shunt surgery. Is this a risk and what kind of potential problems can occur? I have just regained my voice after sever GERD and finally had surgery last year for it. My speaking voice has returned, but still does not have good duration or stamina, so I am hoping this surgery will not set me back. Unfortunately I am still not able to sing, which is a great frustration.
i have been surfering with meniere disease for 10yrs now i have gone to several doctors in nigeria but no result. i am fed up i need a doctor who can perform this surgery effectively. please i need help thanks
Hello, I am 29 years old and have been suffering from this disease for 11 years and am a mom of two young kids. Has anyone ever tired the Minette device? I have had a shunt that worked for about 5 years, just had a revision two months ago and am getting no relief.I am thinking of going to a place in la called House of Ear anyone ever been there. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Talking about brain surgery next to cut the nerve and I am not sure thats the path I want to go down.Way to many risks.
Karen Birkholm
I had Endolymphatic Subarachnoid surgery on my left ear at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles in 1978. Dr. Brackmann of House Medical Clinic performed the surgery. While it took approximately a year for my system to settle down and adjust, I have had more than substantial relief from severe vertigo. The surgery did not help my hearing to return and I have, in fact, lost hearing in both my ears.

As far as I can tell, after over 30 years since surgery the shunt is still working. I do suffer from bi-lateral severe-classicMeniere's Disease. I had all three main symptoms to a major degree. I was diagnosed in 1977, with suggestion that the disease may have started in my early childhood.
I had endolymphatic sac drainage surgery 4 days ago , how long should I expect recovery time to be? Is it very different from person to person? I am wondering when I should be able to return to work.
Alan Shepard, the astronaut, had this disease. He got the shunt, described above, and a few years later he was the first man on the moon.
I awakened to a severe vertigo attack in 1985 and was subsequently diagnosed with Meniere's disease in my right ear by Dr. John House, House Clinic, Los Angeles. My mother had been diagnosed with it in 1964 by Dr. William House. I had few serious vertigo episodes and controlled mild to moderate chronic and seasonal vertigo with diet and medication for several years. In 2006, for reasons unknown severe vertigo episodes began again and caused substantial interruption sufficient to require me to stop working and go on disability. Dr. House advised surgery but I elected to wait, hoping for a spontaneous remission. The vertigo episodes continued and the hearing in my right decreased from 92% to 33% during that year. In August 2009 Dr. House performed the endolymphatic shunt surgery at St. Vincent's Medical Center, and while my hearing did not improve, the severe vertigo ceased. Only occasional transient, very mild vertigo occurred until August 2011 when the severe vertigo episodes began again. After steroid treatment and other tests, Dr. House suggested a revision of the shunt. I had the surgery two days ago on December 6, 2011 and remain hopeful that this surgery will be successful indefinitely.

Because vertigo is so immediately debilitating, the long term effects of repeated attacks sometimes go unnoticed for quite a while. The fear of having a serious attack, of being incapacitated abruptly, without warning, can cause lifestyle changes that shrink one's world significantly. If you suffer from Meniere's induced vertigo, I encourage you to consider the shunt surgery. While I have had a revision surgery, the time free of the vertigo was wonderful and I remain hopeful that the second surgery is and will remain successful. I feel fortunate to have viable treatment from Dr. John House, a dedicated, skilled and talented doctor.

Best of luck!
I had the shunt surgery one week ago. Left hospital hearing fine. Two days later ear is feeling full and continues. Have had severe vertigo episodes and feeling they will return. Question for others who have had this, will fullness go away? Feelind depressed as I thought surgery would cure problem.
I found out I had Meniere's in May after several severe episodes of vertigo which began in January. Most of the time I recovered from these within a couple of days. I have tried steriods, I'm on a fluid pills and have drastically adjusted my diet. The last episode at the end of July was the worst and it took almost two weeks to feel "normal" again. Even still I have fullness, ringing and dizziness. I went to a specialist in Chapel Hill NC and he has recommended the surgery. I am waiting for this to be scheduled. My prayer is that it will give me a level of comfort and ability to live without fear.
Respected sir, Iam 40 years old. I am suffering from Meniars disease from last 15 years. Present I have no vomiting and vertigo,giddiness, I am suffering from hearing loss and continuously noise(sounds) from my both ears. My both ears are hearing loss is 56db. Recently 4 injections has been taken to my inner ear in yasoda hospital, hyderabad.
Will I regain my hearing if I have this surgery?
Yesterday I had a revision to an endolymphatics mastoid shit. The orignal shunt surgery was performed 3 years ago and wthin afeww weeks of the operation the virtigo and "fillneess" feelings were gone. Howveer after this initial period the benefit of teh shnt seemed to lessen until the symtoms retruend to ther earlier levels ro mayb a little worse. The revision surgery found that the mastoid bone had grown over the end of te shunt effectivy "plugging" the shunt. My doctor , sugeon is at NC Chapple hill hospital and I would recommend him to anyone suffering from menier's symdrome. The revision surgery was not very painful and I'm already at home. I see the doctor in about a weeks time for a post0op visit. My hope is to return to work with a2 weeks but I'm very confident in the doctor's advise and intend to follow it to the letter. I hope this helps allivate some of the anxiety about this operation (especially for you Angela). God bless you.
Pat~ I am a 37 year old who has had bilateral Menieres Disease, it became bad around a year ago, after seeing a number of doctors I was told to go to UW Madison Hospital for more tests, which is when I found out for sure it was Menieres. I was scheduled for my first surgery on July 25th of 2012. It helped greatly in my right ear. After going to my post op visit, I was told I was losing the hearing in my left ear and prior to the appointment I had started to get the vertigo again while I was at work, so I was scheduled to have the surgery on my left ear. The surgery was October 24th 2012, and I had the worse dizziness for quite a few days afterwards. It has been almost 2 weeks, and the right ear which was the ear with the most hearing loss is now my good ear. I have very little hearing in my left ear, hoping it will come back, but with the first surgery my hearing had started to come back within the week, so I am still wondering if I will hear. Having the surgery may not give you your hearing back fully there's a good chance it could stay the same or 0.5% chance you could lose it all together. If you don't have the vertigo, nausea or anything else I would recommend just getting a hearing aid, which is what I will most likely be doing if mine does not come back. I am hoping this helps you? I have gone through it and know what my outcome was, so this is my advice.
I have been diagnosed with Menieres for about 5 years and dealing with it around 9 years before proper diagnosis. I went through diaretics (water pills) which did more harm than good, then they treated me with Klonopin (Clonazepam) which seemed to delay attacks, but not eliminate them. I didn't take long to get to a bad point again with this. The next step was they inserted a tube in my eardrum and I use a Meniett device several times daily while taking the Klonopin at night. This worked extremely well for about 6 months until the tube began to come out. When the doctor tried to adjust the tube they tore my eardrum, patched it, and inserted another tube. Unfortunately after this occurred I am now at my worst point. I am currently having up to 3 or 4 attacks of vertigo daily several times a week. I am now scheduled to have an endolymphatic shunt put in and they are going to remove the honeycomb membrane behind my ear. Hoping this works so I do not have to resort to a vestibular neurectomy which the doctor said is the most evasive and hardest to recover from. Best of luck to all of you out there dealing with this. Here is another good link for support and additional information out there:

I had the Endolymphatic Shunt Putin over 20 years ago, it works great . My question is can I have a MCI done? Please let me know.
Thank you!
I am suffering from MENIARS Disease from last 20 years, present I have not giddiness and vertico etc., only some knows are there and I loose my hearing upto 70db from my both ears. Will I regain my hearing if I have this surgery? and any treatment?
I am getting the EKG and blood work done this week, as soon as my doctor receives it - I will be scheduled for the Endolymphatic Mastoid Shunt Surgery. After reading everyone's posts, I don't know if I should. They will drill behind my ear and then what? Mess me up more. I've have Meneire's 8 years - it is a nightmare I wouldn't wish on anyone. If anyone can tell me something real positive about this, please email me. Thanks.
I usually don't write on boards like this. I'm 33 years old and have been suffering from Menieres Disease for 4 years. The attacks started one day while at work, I became very dizzy and started getting sick. It took several months and several Dr's before I received a diagnosis.

Like many of you, the attacks have become severe and disabling. I'm not able to work and had to stop driving as I'm having attacks driving. I hate this disease, I hate feeling like I have no control. I have recently had the steroid shot in my ear, and did not receive any results from it. In fact, I never complain from any shots but this was different. Apparently, when they put something in your ear it drains to your throat. The shot went into my ear and into my throat. The pain was unbearable. It felt like strep throat of my ear and throat at same time.

I went to Dr yesterday and he told me since it didn't work that he recommended the Endolymphatic sac surgery. the hospital said that Dr didn't have any openings until June 18th. But at last minute they found one this Friday. Gives me the rest of today to not try and stress about it. To be honest it scares me to death.

I guess I'm writing this for myself not sure if anyone will read it. If you do and you are suffering with the disease to I wish you nothing but the best.
I am a 58 year old who had her kidney out from kidney cancer a year ago. Since then I've suffered with severe dizziness attacks and went in the emergency room 4 times so ill. I've been on triamterene, valium, the steroids, and even a patch they put behind my ear which messed me up worse. Also zophran for nausea. I've been bedridden most of the time. I watch my salt intake. I had the steroid shot in my ear a week ago which gave me only a little relief. I'm having the Endolymphatic Sac surgery in a few weeks and am very nervous. I want to be able to drive again and have my life back. It seems that every time my clothes rub against the incision from having my kidney out, which is a huge incision and is still swollen, it effects my meniere's. Does anyone know of a creme that can be rubbed on the incision to help with the pain. I am nervous about the surgery and hope it works. Had surgery a few weeks ago. Had a tumor removed from my other kidney. That one wasn't too bad. So tired of my bed and the spinning.
I had the endolymphatic shunt surgery for meniere's 20 years ago after my vertigo and nausea symptoms became too debilitating. I now need an MRI for another condition and the MRI place is having some difficulty documenting the safety of the MRI without documenting exactly what the shunt is made of. Anyone ever have this problem?
I had the shunt surgery 2 years ago, I had attacks prior at least 3 or more times a month. I was the .05 that lost total hearing in the affected ear after the surgery, however I have not had any attacks (knock on wood). I would do this all over again and be deaf in my left ear compared to the violent attacks, I can lead a "normal" life now and not have the anxiety of when the next attack will occur.
Antonino Cusma
My husband, Antonino Cusma, has been suffering from dizziness and buzzing in his ears for about 3 years. Has had many tests, but the specialist said that he has the labyrinth which is hardened due to age (will be 79 years old this Fall) and has vascular parkinsons and is hypertensive. He said that he will just have to live with it. We live in Italy. Is there someone here in Italy that you know would be the specialist that we can turn to? We would be able to go anywhere in Italy if necessary. I thank you for your time. Most cordially, Josephine Saggio
michelle white
I need information on the Endolymphatic sac decompression shunt and having MRI procedures?
Thank you
I also have Menieres Disease. Finally diagnosed after 3 years of dizzy episodes with severe vomiting. This past year it seems to happen monthly now instead of 1 time per year. I have had the antivert, diuretics, valium, and steroids with no help. I've had a CT, hearing test (after hearing test), and balance study. Finally seeing a different doctor I was diagnosed with Menieres and scheduled for December to get the shunt. Seems after reading all the comments it works for a few years? There were some it worked for several years. I pray I am one of those lucky ones. I hate these dizzy/vomiting spells.
I had the shunt surgery 3 months ago. My vertigo is still about the same but unfortunately all of any useful hearing was lost. Before the surgery I had full hearing. The doctor says it is too late and permanant. Total loss of hearing was not part of the plan. Some small part of me thinks it is still swollen and healing but i guess thats wishful thinking. I only have hearing in the high frequencies.
surgery suggested after nearly four years, three Docs. Numerous test, tubes, pills, diets changes, hearing aid, sound training. Still sitting in a room by myself. Driving my self and everyone around me batty with requests to adjust volume to accommodate my ear. Constantly hurts, feel pressure on side of head, rings, voice resonates when I talk.Can't raise my voices with out feedback, can't move head with out causing another noise within ear. humming cycling on top of ringing and feedback. Exhausted, can't remember the simplest thing with all of the distraction. Not working. Not sure that surgery is the answer, ready to unhook ear altogether. Serves no purpose other that a poor connection, balance, filter, can't process more than one sound input at once. Do not want to a habit of surgeries.Just want to do the right one and be done with this nightmare before I end up in a room alone for life!
Gale Tierney
I have under gone surgery on my right ear on Wednesday 27th January, 2016 to have a tumor removed (Endolymphatic Sac Tumor) I am having very painful and saw inner ear and ear lobe it is worse when I am sitting up or I am getting up, how long after surgery will I be experiencing this it is very uncomfortable I can not stand the extent of the pain it is causing me to be in. I go back to the hospital on Tuesday 1st March, 2016 for my follow up with the doctor who had performed my operation. Can anyone please tell me if this is normal to be having after surgery for Endolymphatic Sac Tumor removed to get very painful and saw inner ear and ear lobe, I am unable to attach a picture of where I had my operation done so if you would like to have a look at the picture please feel free to contact me on either of the following:
Facebook: Gale Tierney Pheobe-Rose
Hotmail/Email: gale_tierney17@hotmail.com
Mobile number: 0422 591 981
I am afraid I do not have any other source of contact method apart from the ones above that I have mentioned for you all.

Kind Regards

Gale Tierney
Mary McGaughy
I have meniere's disease and had the endolymphatic shunt put in my right ear in 1998. It has caused nothing but pain and suffering. I have
asked my ENT and other doctors to take it out but since it has been in so long they will not. Now I can not get an MRI because
I can not find out what material the shunt is made of. I need to make sure it is not metal but I have no written material from the
doctor that put it in that states it is not metal. I really need the MRI but can not find out where to look for the type of material this
shunt might be made of. What a fine mess I'm in and still in pain after all these years. I have lost over half of my hearing in my
right ear and now in my left ear. And the tinnitus is taking it tow on my nerves. I think I have taken every known herbal remedy
known to man and tried sound machines to no avail. I would just like to go back to the day prior to the surgery and start over
and maybe take another look at my choices. I don't think I would have chosen the shunt. As for the tinnitus, I have also used
botox as silly as that sounds and it didn't work for those of you suffering from tinnitus, just to let you know. So, if anyone on this
site should know the material of the shunt the doctors use, please let me know. I really need to have this MRI performed.
I had right endolymphatic surgery and shunt placement 20 years ago. Before the surgery I had severe bouts of vertigo that kept me in bed for 3-5 weeks followed by another ~6 weeks of bad vertigo but I could walk with help and finally I'd have a couple of months with no symptoms before the cycle would start again. During that time I lost almost all my hearing in the right ear and the tinnitus stared. Luckily, I was able to move back home and had a very supportive workplace that accommodated me. I woke up from the surgery and was completely free of the vertigo! I didn't regain any hearing and still have the tinnitus but I don't have any trouble dealing with those issues. Now, 20 years later I am starting to have low-level vertigo/unsteadiness and have begun the process to have the shunt assessed/possible revision. Unfortunately, I don't have any records from the original surgery so I am having to convince the doctor that I actually have Meniere's (a round of diuretics and vestibular suppressants) before they consider revision. I write this as a sign of hope. I was suffering severe depression and didn't think I could live with the vertigo any more. But, after more doctors than I could count, I finally found one (since retired) who knew what he was doing and he gave me my life back. My advice is to keep looking for a doctor who will listen to you and is as committed as you are to finding a solution and make sure that the doctor knows how negatively this is affecting you. Too many think this is just a little thing that can easily be dealt with and don't realize how debilitating and soul crushing this disease can be to deal with.
John Watson
I was diagnosed with Menearers about 4 Years ago. The treatments started out with fluid pills which seem to help for a little . Now I am in the process of getting injections in the ear. I am currently at # 3 and still no relief from the Vertigo Attacks. Now the Doctors at Hershey Medical Center are talking about doing this Endolymphatic Sac Surgery.
I just want the Vertigo to be over so I can live a normal life. We dont make plans to go anywhere or travel to far because we never know how things are going to be from day to day. Vertigo Sucks. I sure hope this Surgery is a Success.
Alice Sue
In 1990 after several months of severe vertigo & trying several medications for treatment without success, I had Endolymphatic shunt surgery done on my left ear by a renowned ENT surgeon in Chapel Hill, N. C. The vertigo went away immediately after surgery leaving tinnitus, poor balance & some loss of hearing but small price to pay to be able to function without vertigo debilitation . Four years ago the same physician did a reversal of the shunt due to lightheadedness experienced. The surgery was again successful in alleviating vertigo problems. Now, 4 years later, I am scheduled for another reversal surgery for lightheadedness. You do what you have to do & if this surgery is successful & gives me the relief the other surgeries have, it will be more than worth it. Since the first surgery for severe vertigo, I have had less severe attacks & those only after years of relief. The problem that led to the second surgery was the bone had grown over the shunt which may be the case this time. We'll find out when I have surgery. I totally sympathize with all who have experienced vertigo problems. It's the worst and unfortunately, often misunderstood. My prayer & wish is that all of you will get lasting relief..
clare stammeijer
I was diagnosed with Atypical menieres 8 months ago. Diet and medications have had no effect. I've had 3 steroid injections with 2 types of steroid, also no effect. I suffer with a lot of pressure, hyperacusis, tinnitus and hearing loss in one ear. Would this shunt operation help me with my symptoms especially the pressure?
Thinking about having the shunt surgery.
Would like to know how painful is it and how long recovery is.
Hi all, I am 60 years old and had my first vertigo attack when I was 23. After struggling multiple years, I finally had the Endolymphatic shunt surgery. I was 35 years old so very few physicians were doing the surgery then. As far as the vertigo attacks go, it worked. I continued to have hearing loss (60% loss in my Meniere’s ear over time) and constant tinnitus. I can handle both of those things. it is the vertigo that I just can’t take. This year, my vertigo attacks returned. I had 25 years without dizziness. It was wonderful and I was to the point where I had even forgotten that I had Meniere’s. This year, the vertigo returned, and after trying antivirals and steroid injections into the ear, I decided to try a revision surgery. The surgery went well, and a new shunt was put in. I’m now 8 days post surgery and feeling very down. I had a pretty bad vertigo attack tonight, and have felt very like something is generally off for the last 4 days. I started out great and thought that it was all good. My tinnitus has gotten worse, and my head feels full. I am searching for information about post surgery, and would like to ask anyone who’s had
the surgery what their recovery was like. I have read that this is normal, and since my first surgery was 25 years ago, I cannot remember if I had these symptoms then. Please let me hear from anyone about your post surgical experience. I am so discouraged. Thank you.
Kristine J Foster
I had this surgery done in my right ear in 1980 performed by Dr. Kenneth Haskell Brookler at Lennox Hill in Manhattan. I have never had another attack of vertigo but my hearing did not return 100% as was hoped. I got it back up to about 60% without a hearing aide and up to 80% with a strong electronic aide. That was a blessing in of itself as before the operation it was only 20%. To be able to hear a dog bark or the doorbell is a blessing. I have NEVER known what my daughter's natural voice sounded like as she was 2 years old and starting to talk when I was losing it. I now hear everything in a mechanical way ( sounds like the micro phone on the school stage ) I used to be able to hear my son breathe at night in the next room while I slept. I missed all those things. When I could hear again via the operation and my hearing aide, it was a miracle and a true blessing! I was born totally deaf in my left ear from birth due to the auditory nerve never developing. I went back to school to become a CNA, and even went to LPN school but I didn't graduate due to a controversy over whether or not I could perform a physical assessment correctly. You see the hearing aide and shunt were not compatible with the electronic stethoscope I had to use and so I had to remove the hearing aide and put on the headset to the stethoscope . When MY patient saw me doing that to take his BP his eyes would widen up in worry and fear and so started the controversy! So I ended up dropping out because they aren't ready for me out there yet! I think Dr. Brookler would get a big kick out of this! Hi Doc! But you know I could probably hear better with my electronic stethoscope than the REAL pro nurses and their regular stethoscopes!!! Just people would get too anxious watching me take my aide out!!! Too funny! but hey Doc thanks to you I almost made it. I still have the original shunt and it is still going strong! So thanks you all you did for me! Just wanted people here to see yes there IS life after hearing loss; don't give up!
Judith Schmidt
I had the shunt operation in 1976 when I was 35 yrs. old. At the time it was considered experimental surgery. It was not painful and all I can remember is a crackling sound while swallowing for a few weeks. Thank goodness it worked. I am now 78 and happy that the vertigo, and feeling that you can't relieve the pressure, never returned. I do have severe hearing loss in that ear and tinnitus, but have learned to live with it. I don't know what the shunt is made out of, but have had 2 MRI's with no problems on lower parts of the body.
Left ear Ménière’s for 4 years now. 0.5 cm left facial neroma as well. Migraines without headaches as well ( which triggers Ménière’s as well) . Tried all medications and curently on topiramax 50mg at BT. and diuretics.

my neorotologist suggest endolympatic sac decompression . My vertigo and ringing comes from Ménière’s and not From my small benign tumor ( 0.5cm) . ( VNG test showed confirmed this as well...)
Anybody similar? Thank you so much.
I am the point that can’t work and live regularly -

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