Stapedectomy is a surgical procedure in which the innermost bone (stapes) of the three bones (the stapes, the incus, and the malleus) of the middle ear is removed, and replaced with a small plastic tube surrounding a short length of stainless steel wire (a prosthesis). The operation was first performed in the United States in 1956.


A stapedectomy is performed to improve the movement of sound to the inner ear. It is done to treat progressive hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, a condition in which spongy bone hardens around the base of the stapes. This condition fixes the stapes to the opening of the inner ear, so that the stapes no longer vibrates properly. Otosclerosis can also affect the malleus, the incus, and the bone that surrounds the inner ear. As a result, the transmission of sound to the inner ear is disrupted. Untreated otosclerosis eventually results in total deafness, usually in both ears.


Otosclerosis affects about 10% of the United States population. It is an autosomal dominant disorder with variable penetrance. These terms mean that a child having one parent with otosclerosis has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene for the disorder, but that not everyone who has the gene will develop otosclerosis. In addition, some researchers think that the onset of the disorder is triggered when a person who has the gene for otosclerosis is infected with the measles virus. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that the incidence of otosclerosis has been steadily declining in countries with widespread measles vaccination.

Otosclerosis develops most frequently in people between the ages of 10 and 30. In most cases, both ears are affected; however, about 10–15% of patients diagnosed with otosclerosis have loss of hearing in only one ear. The disorder affects women more frequently than men by a ratio of 2:1. Pregnancy is a risk factor for onset or worsening of otosclerosis.

With regard to race, Caucasian and Asian Americans are more likely to develop otosclerosis than African Americans.


A stapedectomy does not require any incisions on the outside of the body, as the entire procedure is performed through the ear canal. With the patient under local or general anesthesia, the surgeon opens the ear canal and folds the eardrum forward. Using an operating microscope, the surgeon is able to see the structures in detail, and evaluates the bones of hearing (ossicles) to confirm the diagnosis of otosclerosis.

Next, the surgeon separates the stapes from the incus; freed from the stapes, the incus and malleus bones can now move when pressed. A laser or small drill may be used to cut through the tendon and arch of the stapes bone, which is then removed from the middle ear.

The surgeon then opens the window that joins the middle ear to the inner ear and acts as the platform for the stapes bone. The surgeon directs the laser's beam at the window to make a tiny opening, and gently clips the prosthesis to the incus bone. A piece of tissue is taken from a small incision behind the ear lobe and used to help seal the hole in the window and around the prosthesis. The eardrum is then gently replaced and repaired, and held there by absorbable packing ointment or a gelatin sponge. The procedure usually takes about an hour and a half.

Good candidates for the surgery are those who have a fixed stapes from otosclerosis and a conductive hearing loss of at least 20 dB. Patients with a severe hearing loss might still benefit from a stapedectomy, if only to improve their hearing to the point where a hearing aid can be of help. The procedure can improve hearing in more than 90% of cases.



Diagnosis of otosclerosis is based on a combination of the patient's family history, the patient's symptoms, and the results of hearing tests. Some patients notice only a gradual loss of hearing, but others experience dizziness, tinnitus (a sensation of buzzing, ringing, or hissing in the ears), or balance problems. The hearing tests should be administered by an ear specialist (audiologist or otologist) rather than the patient's family doctor. The examiner will need to determine whether the patient's hearing loss is conductive (caused by a lesion or disorder in the ear canal or middle ear) or sensorineural (caused by a disorder of the inner ear or the 8th cranial nerve).

Two tests that are commonly used to distinguish conductive hearing loss from sensorineural are Rinne's test and Weber's test. In Rinne's test, the examiner holds the stem of a vibrating tuning fork first against the mastoid bone and then outside the ear canal. A person with normal hearing will hear the sound as louder when it is held near the outer ear; a person with conductive hearing loss will hear the tone as louder when the fork is touching the bone.

In Weber's test, the vibrating tuning fork is held on the midline of the forehead and the patient is asked to indicate the ear in which the sound seems louder. A person with conductive hearing loss on one side will hear the sound louder in the affected ear.

A computed tomography (CT) scan or x ray study of the head may also be done to determine whether the patient's hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural.


Patients are asked to notify the surgeon if they develop a cold or sore throat within a week of the scheduled surgery. The procedure should be postponed in order to minimize the risk of infection being carried from the upper respiratory tract to the ear.

Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia when performing a stapedectomy, although an increasing number are using local anesthesia. A sedative injection is given to the patient before surgery.


The patient is asked to have a friend or relative drive them home after the procedure. Antibiotics are given up to five days after surgery to prevent infection; packing and sutures are removed about a week after surgery.

It is important that the patient not put pressure on the ear for a few days after surgery. Blowing one's nose, lifting heavy objects, swimming underwater, descending rapidly in high-rise elevators, or taking an airplane flight should be avoided.

Right after surgery, the ear is usually quite sensitive, so the patient should avoid loud noises until the ear retrains itself to hear sounds properly.

It is extremely important that the patient avoid getting the ear wet until it has completely healed. Water in the ear could cause an infection; most seriously, water could enter the middle ear and cause an infection within the inner ear, which could then lead to a complete hearing loss. When taking a shower, and washing the hair, the patient should plug the ear with a cotton ball or lamb's wool ball, soaked in Vaseline. The surgeon should give specific instructions about when and how this can be done.

Usually, the patient may return to work and normal activities about a week after leaving the hospital, although if the patient's job involves heavy lifting, three weeks of home rest is recommend. Three days after surgery, the patient may fly in pressurized aircraft.


The most serious risk is an increased hearing loss, which occurs in about 1% of patients. Because of this risk, a stapedectomy is usually performed on only one ear at a time.

Less common complications include:

Severe dizziness or vertigo may be a signal that there has been an incomplete seal between the fluids of the middle and inner ear. If this is the case, the patient needs immediate bed rest, an examination by the ear surgeon, and (rarely) an operation to reopen the eardrum to check the prosthesis.

Normal results

Most patients are slightly dizzy for the first day or two after surgery, and may have a slight headache. Hearing improves once the swelling subsides, the slight bleeding behind the ear drum dries up, and the packing is absorbed or removed, usually within two weeks. Hearing continues to get better over the next three months.

About 90% of patients will have markedly improved hearing following the procedure, while 8% experience only minor improvement. About half the patients who had tinnitus before surgery will experience significant relief within 6 weeks after the procedure.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Stapedectomy is a very safe procedure with a relatively low rate of complications. With regard to hearing, about 2% of patients may have additional hearing loss in the operated ear following a stapedectomy; fewer than 1% lose hearing completely in the operated ear. About 9% of patients experience disturbances in their sense of taste. Infection, damage to the eardrum, and facial nerve palsy are rare complications that occur in fewer than 0.1% of patients.


Alternatives to a stapedectomy include:



"Approach to the Patient with Ear Problems." In The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy , edited by Mark H. Beers, M.D., and Robert Berkow, M.D. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 2001.

"Congenital Anomalies." In The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy , edited by Mark H. Beers, M.D., and Robert Berkow, M.D. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 2001.

"Otosclerosis." In The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy , edited by Mark H. Beers, M.D., and Robert Berkow, M.D. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 2001.


Brown, D. J., T. B. Kim, E. M. Petty, et al. "Characterization of a Stapes Ankylosis Family with an NOG Mutation." Otology and Neurotology 24 (March 2003): 210–215.

House, H. P., M. R. Hansen, A. A. Al Dakhail, and J. W. House. "Stapedectomy Versus Stapedotomy: Comparison of Results with Long-Term Follow-Up." Laryngoscope 112 (November 2002): 2046–2050.

Nadol, J. B., Jr. "Histopathology of Residual and Recurrent Conductive Hearing Loss After Stapedectomy." Otology and Neurotology 22 (March 2001): 162–169.

Shea, J. J. Jr., and X Ge. "Delayed Facial Palsy After Stapedectomy." Otology and Neurotology 22 (July 2001): 465–470.

Shohet, Jack A., M.D., and Frank Sutton, Jr., M.D. "Middle Ear, Otosclerosis." eMedicine , July 17, 2001 [cited May 3, 2003]. .

Vincent, R., J. Oates, and N. M. Sperling. "Stapedotomy for Tympanosclerotic Stapes Fixation: Is It Safe and Efficient? A Review of 68 Cases." Otology and Neurotology 23 (November 2002): 866–872.


American Academy of Audiology. 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 300, Reston, VA 20190. (703) 790-8466. .

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. One Prince St., Alexandria VA 22314-3357. (703) 836-4444.

Better Hearing Institute. 515 King Street, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 684-3391.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health. 31 Center Drive, MSC 2320. Bethesda, MD 20892-2320. .


National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Otosclerosis , August 1999 [May 2, 2003]. NIH Publication No. 99-4234. .

Carol A. Turkington Rebecca J. Frey, Ph.D.


Stapedectomies are usually done by otologists or otolaryngologists, who are surgeons with advanced training in treating ear disorders. A stapedectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in an ambulatory surgery facility or same-day surgery clinic.


Also read article about Stapedectomy from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Tricia Corbin
I am very thankful for this article, it answered all of my questions. I was recently diagnosed with Otosclerosis, and surgery is required, however, I haven't met with my Otologist to discuss the procedure, now I feel comfortable and I know what to expect. Thank you!
debra leone
Thank you so much for your article! I had surgery on my right ear last Thursday (Feb 15, 2007) and was very concerned about some of my symptoms that I have as a result of the surgery. I have the metallic taste sensation as well as the dizziness. I had the same surgery done on my left ear in 1989 at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston but could not remember having these problems. Although I still have to wear a hearing aid in the left ear, the surgery greatly helped me. I also was wearing a hearing aid in my right ear which was not effective any more due to the advance of the disease. I am so thankful that I happened upon your've reassured me that in time I will be okay! Even in this age of modern miracles, we still have to rest and let nature and God do the rest. Thanks again!
sandy sanders
this article was great.I just had this surgery done and this page explained alot to me.Thanks.
Ron Moorman
I am scheduled for a stapedectomy on Monday. The doctor, surgery nurse and anesthesiologist explained the procedures and risks.
However, it was very reassuring to find the same (and expanded) information on this site.
Thank YOU
n. mooney
i am having the surgery 11-21-07 on my right ear and this article gave me a great understanding along with what my doctor explained to me. i feel at ease!
I had this surgery done in February 1995. I am experiencing problems now. I've moved 5 hours away from the surgeon who performed the surgery. If my memory is correct, I believe I was told that the surgery usually last approx. 10 years. It has been almost 13 years and I am now having repeat problems.

I was curious to the length of time this surgery last. Please advise...
I had a stapedectomy two ago (8-31-07) and since the operation I have a terrible salt and metallic taste. The doctor said this sometimes happens due to nerve damage during the operation. My question is when does my taste return to normal? Food taste terrible now and I can't wait for it to return to normal. When can I expect it to return?
Thank you for the information. It is very valuable. I would like to know the answers to the question the man has that has had 3 stapendectomies. Does this surgery usually help for 10 years, only?
david butler
I also am considering this surgery, and would like to see the responses for the person who has had the procedure 3 times. Also, stapedotmy vs stapedectomy? Is this something that can only be determined during the exploratory surgery? If taste sensation is affected due to nerve damage, does it ever return to normal? I thought nerve damage was irreparable? If the surgeon is doing nerve damage on the way to a stapedectomy, is that just poor skill? I am 50 and debating between surgery, or starting on hearing aids.
This is the best article I have read since deciding on doing the surgery. My questions are:

Does the suregery only last for 10 years?
What are the changes of doing the surgery several times?
If I experience problems with tasting, how soon would that be corrected?
jacqueline davidson
I had the surgery done to my left ear 03/14/08 and i now have what i would describe as numbness to the left side of my tongue, the same feeling as when the dentist gives you novacaine. is this unusual? i don't seem to read anything about this, or are people describing it differently such as a metallic taste in mouth or lack of taste? because when i eat now the food taste better on the right side of my mouth.
I had the surgery 11 days ago. Upon waking my hearing was improved so much that some of the sounds were actually scary. Four days ago I experienced softer hearing - I can still hear but it's very soft. The doctor said it would go louder again. How will I know if I just need to be patient or get worried that the softer hearing is all I'm going to have? I also had the metallic taste on the side they operated on but it has been improving every day. I did not bed rest since the second day after the operation. Is that maybe the reason for the softer hearing? Please give me some peace of mind!
I will have my stapedotomy this coming 4/7/08. Thanks i found this site before my surgery. I have tinnitus on both ears.
Gary Kodish
I have had 3 surgeries. The first was to loosen my frozen stapes which lasted about a year. Then two additional surgers with a prosthesis. Neither of these were successful. Now I am considering a 4th surgery and would like the names of doctors who are known to be "good" or leaders in research in the field of stapedectomy. I live in the Phila area but would travel. Let me know.
I had this surgery in August 2007. I experienced none of the complications listed and my hearing improved greatly. Then about five months later my hearing in that ear went completely. The doctor suggested the prosthesis must have failed somehow and he did the surgery again (last week). He told me afterwards that somehow the first prosthesis had twisted around (?), though he couldn't explain how this happened. I can already tell that the hearing is improved after only one week, but I've had terrible dizziness this time around. The dizziness is getting less by the day but it is still very uncomfortable and keeping me from work etc.
Good luck.
I had the surgery one week ago (May, 2008) and my surgeon asked me to keep a tampon in my ear and replace it from time to time. But he didn't say for how long should I keep the tampon in my ear and how often should I replace it. If somebody has some information about my that, please, respond.
Otherwise evrything was successful, the dizziness is over and I don't have problems with my taste perceptions. I only feel uncomfortable because of the tampon - I can't sense how loud my voice is when I'm talking and I feel preasure in my head.
Luis Serrano
Dear Sirs.
I have lost up to 50 % of my hearing on my left ear but didn't know about the 2 aspects, conductive and sensorineural loss. From what I have read the sensorineural loss cannot be corrected or stopped and a sugery would be useless. It is mentioned that the loss of hearing on the higher frquency sides is symptomatic of sensorineural loss. Is this so ? How can I know for sure about the difference or the exams to be carried out in this case ?? Audiometry would be enough ? Do I need to request an specific examination ?
Thanks for your help and information. It is noticed that we all feel restless about an operation and particularly about the diziness.
I have now endured my 4th stapeldectomy revision.
What can I say. The hearing decreases renders the aid useless and we try for a better bone position this time the entire incus was removed and the ribbon has now been secured on the maleous? spelling.
Danny Osmon
I just had a stapedectomy done two days ago. I had vertigo pretty bad on Saturday 8-23-08, one day after surgery. I was worried about it but on Sunday it started going away and today Monday it is almost gone and I am back to work. I did have a little problem of taste for the first two days but by Sunday, the numbness started going away. I can already tell a difference in my hearing even with the packing still in. I used to lie on my right side at night so that I wouldn't hear any noise when sleeping. I now can hear just about everything even with all this packing. I am excited to get the packing out to find out how much better I may be able to hear. Great article, it explained many things that I was going through.
I had my second "stapedotomy" last Sunday October 5th 2008. My first one was in February 2005... things was good after first after surgery for maybe a couple of weeks then things started to get worse till almost returned to situation as before the surgery. My surgeon said after the second surgery that the problem was not in piston, it was in its place but there was alot of stickness between all bones (as a result of first surgery) which he could treat successfully. Now I feel the same, I feel my hearing improved even with packing inside my ear and should remove the packing today Saturday October 11th... I am still worried of having things getting back to situation before the surgery again...
I had a revision stapemdectomy Tuesday, Oct 14, 2008. I've experienced severe vertigo and dizziness since even with drugs prescribed to help. I must say the experience is making me wonder if I should have just gone with a hearing aid instead of this misery. I was told I could go back to work on Monday, which is tomorrow and quiet frankly I don't see that happening being that I'm so dizzy that I can't walk without holding on to something and I definately can't look up, down or to my left or right without almost getting sick. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't! The surgeon said my prothesis fell over and he took set it back up and wrapped scare tissue over it to correct the problem. Now, not only do I have dizziness, I have a strong ringining sound in my ear that never quits!
Dee Miller
If you are looking for a good outcome - I am an example. My first stapedectomy was in 1976 with excellent results. The second stapedectomy was on the other ear in 1995, again with excellent results. I did lose some sense of taste for about 6 months the second time. This is now 2008 and there have been no problems at all.
i had the procedure done in both ears. the first in 2003 and the second ear was done a week ago and its the best thing that i have ever had done. i found this website after the fact tho. so anyone out there reading this, go for it, i CAN HEAR birds singing again... and my first grand-daughter coo and cry...
Dear Sir,
An excellent article red about it after 18 years which is very interesting. Would like to perform the same operation on my left ear only because of the artaicle. Recent past I am facing more problem even on the operated ear.

I had my stapedectomy performed on 15-2-1990 for my right ear. I was alright at that time. For the last few month I am facing problem. Will it work only for 15 years or so? Now I am 45. Can I perform the same operation for my left ear will it be alright / can I hear properly? What will be the %age of success?
Or anything can be done for the same oeprated year for my normal hering?

Kindly inform.

Hoping to get a good reply

V Jothiprakash
i had this surgery and it did not work in 1982 has there been any new breakthroughs in this procedure or after this long would you recomend revisiting it?
Hi, I had a stapedectomy on 11/11/08 on my right ear. I had dizziness for about 2 days what is normal, then everything went normal about the symptons after surgery. My question is?
It is about a week an a half and my hearing is still low and I still feeling tinnitus in my ear. I want to know if is normal and it would go away later. I like to work out too and I want to know when sure I can start doing what I was doing before (sports). Thank you and I want to hear from you...
Hi, I had a stapedectomy on 12/4/08 on my right ear. It was absolutely worth it! I had very little dizziness, except for the 2nd day after surgery, but even that was not bad. I was concerned like many of the above commenters, because my hearing sounded muffled and like I had the base turned up in that ear!! Once I had the packing removed 1 week post was like a miracle! I could hear:) I did have some pulsation tinnitus for a couple of days, but that too has gone. So far so good. Those of you who are wondering....DO IT!!
Hello readers, I have had my R ear stapedectomy on Nov.25/08 and having very positive results. The first couple of weeks after surgery was a little painful at times, and sleep patterns were disturded due to anti-biotics needed every 4 hours. (Nothing that should bother most people) At week three, a follow-up visit and hearing test show positive results. It can apparently take a few months for middle ear packing to disolve to a point where hearing is optimum. As it stands today, I can listen to people instead of lip reading, and music in STEREO again is like a second shot life. Thank you Dr. S at Ottawa Civic!
My advice would be... If you can, do it ASAP. You may have the same results.
I had my 1st stapedectomy in 2005, 2 months after having my daughter, the results were great. I don't recall having any of the problems everyone else seems to have had. I am scheduled to have my other ear done in a few weeks and am very much looking forward to it. This article was very helpful to me in enabling me to better explain the surgery to my family and friends. I just wanted to remind everyone who has posted comments on here with questions as to what and when you should be doing normal activities....those are better asked to your doctor. Every case is different and most people cannot give you correct information about what's best for you. Please be careful and have a great day!
Linda Gallo
I had my first successful surgery in 1973 on my right ear that restored about 80% hearing. It was done at Mass. Eye and Ear by Dr. Rufus Partlow. In July 2007 I had my second successful surgery on the left ear at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital by Dr. May. I can only hear in the left ear with a hearing aid, whereas I couldn't hear with it before. Having this surgery has been life changing. Being hearing disabled is extremely frustrating for family members. This surgery is worth it.
dear sir/mam
the article is informative.i have been operated on 31/12/2008 and my pack was removed in 21 jan2009.i want following advice from you.firstly wen i get up and sit some yellowish fluid usually a drop comes it ok?? secondly wen i walk ther is dizziness a small amount of.thirdly my surgeonm has kept me on vertin 16 mg bd is it ok and lastly he has given me ciplox ear drops are they ok.
2. my hearing on left ear has not improved and what more time will it take.
3. what else options do i have kindly advice iam worried whether my surgery has been performed right???
Carol Height
I had my surgery in June 1991. It failed most likely because my Father died and I flew to the funeral two weeks folowing the surgery. Two successive surgeries to correct the dizziness due to fluid on the nerve and a dead nerve left me in a dreadfull state for close to two years. All noise was bone conducted and I was not able to even attend church (I thought deaf was no . One day there was a "Pop" and I was able to discern conversations in crowds and for the most part function again. Not haveing a stereo system is the pits as I can never determine the direction of sound (the handicaped are fun to watch). I have an Aunt and a Sister that also had the surgery manny years earlier with poor results. This may be a genetic secnerio. I hope not because my Son is undergoing surgery in one month. Everything I read sounds as if there have been vast improvements.
Bunny Zilling
I had a stapedectomy in the early 60's in Texas at Methodist Hospital. At first my hearing was greatly improved but I did experience a great deal of dizziness and nausea. Then all of a sudden several months later, the hearing ability diminished.
With a hearing aid now in my early seventies I can hear satisfactorily.
My question is this: Am I at risk if I have an MRI of my neck for possible diagnosis of cervical disk degeneration?
I don't have any idea what type of artificial stapes was inserted long ago.
Thank you,
B Zilling
I am having my surgery on June 16,2009. That is one week from today. I am excited about hearing good again but also I am nervous about the dizziness. I hope it doesn't last for long. I wonder what the average is. I also did not realize that the procedure is often repeated on the same ear. I still do find this site was helpful, even though I am a little more nervous now. They said it is over 90% success rate yet many people on this site were not so lucky.
G Malloy
I had a Stapedectomy done two days ago (16 Jun 09) in Toronto's Markham Hospital. I received a general anesthetic (gas), which almost eliminated all grogginess after surgery. I too have a strong metallic taste, which will hopefully subside. So far, I can barely here from the ear but hope it will improve over the next several weeks. When I had my left ear done (7 years ago), my hearing improved dramatically and the Tinitus (ringing) was reduced as well. I have faith!

Gord Malloy
Alberto Zurita
I had my surgery on March 9th. It worked at first for about 2 months, besides having Total facial paralysis on the operated ear side. This risk is so rare about 2 out of 400. Lucky me.

Fortunately after 3 months I started to get facial movement again and I am close to normal. So, that you be aware, this facial palsy can happen to you, and it is very scary and stressful. If I would had known this can seriously happen I swear to god I would never attempted this Stapedectomy. I have done extensive research on this time and found out some people get paralysis for life. i feel relieved for sure, as I don't smile like a monster anymore!

The bad news, my hearing is now worse than before I got the operation. I do have this annoying speaker like feedback,which might translate into the so called ringing on the ear. It feels like if there is pressure inside causing it.
I am coming back next month for a checkup. Hopefully it will improve.

My advise before the surgery: If yo are young
I had a stapedectomy on my right ear on the 12th of june 2009, however i cannot hear very clearly in that ear, how long will it take, i am only worried about the success of the surgery .
I got the surgery done when i was 10 yrs old. im now 21 and my hearing is worse. ive since had to get a hearing aid and was told that at the time they weren't telling people or didnt know that it could reverse on you and get worse. dont know if times have changed now with the surgery but i wonder if doing the surgery again might be helpful? or if i shouldnt trust the surgery again? im scared of what might happen this time around but would love to not have to wear a hearing aid anymore..
Amy Joy Weaver
I enjoyed reading this article. I had my stapedectomy yesterday & was so happy & surprised to have absolutely no pain or nausea following the surgery. I took Vicodin as a preventative but then slept all night w/o waking up at all. I have dizziness but the kind that is a fun dizzy like a ride on a roller coaster.

I am extremely happy I went through with this surgery & am happy to see how much better I can hear in the next few weeks as the fluid clears. I can already hear better even with cotton balls & a dressing over my ear.

The only other side effect I have is the weird taste on the right side of my tongue. It feels almost like when you burn your tongue on hot food but w/o the pain. It's sort of metalic tasting & sort of a little numb but nothing I couldn't live with!
I had a stapedectomy last month. Today i woke up and can't hear much from that ear. My doctor is out of town. I just found this site looking for problems with the procedure. Do people get answers here, or is it just a sounding board?
James D. Smith
I had a stapedectomy in my left ear in July of 2009. I vomited uncontrollably for about 24 hours. After that I began to feel much better. My hearing was immediately improved by about 20 decibels. No problems since. In November of 2009 I had my right ear operated on. No problems whatsoever. I had explained to the anesthesiologist about my vomiting with the first ear and she told me she would take care of that. I don't know what she did but it worked. Even with the packing my hearing was vastly improved to the point I won't need to wear a hearing aid in the right ear. I will probably opt for one in the left. However, I have been over two months without an aid at all and am functioning very well. I am 65 years old and feel I have a new lease on life.
For those who wonder--my advice is to use a surgeon who does a lot of these surgeries. It is not a new surgery having been around for about 50 some odd years. But it is one that requires experience and skill. My surgeon has done many, many of them. I would recommend doing at least one ear to ensure not losing hearing completely before doing the other. I do have a slight metallic taste on the tip of my tongue. It is not bad, but is noticeable.
In both cases my hearing improved immediately. I was amazed. I have to thank God for giving this surgeon the skills to do his job.
James D. Smith
I would like to add a comment to my previous one(#42) about what one poster asked earlier regarding having an MRI. Most likely you had a stainless steel prosthesis implanted that long ago. Out of concern for stapedectomy patients having reservations concerning this, a new prosthesis was devised out of titanium. This alleviated that problem. However, it is my understanding that even a stainless steel prosthesis is not a problem with an MRI. However, I would follow my doctors advice on this.
Hi Everyone, I was going to wait till after I had my follow up audiogram in February before I post my own experiences but am too excited about the results to wait.

Like others on this forum, I have Otosclerosis. Twenty-five years ago I had stapedectomy done in my right ear. It greatly improved the hearing in my right ear but the side/after effects were physically draining. Back then you had to be hospitalized for several days after the surgery because of the pain, dizziness and nausea. In fact the pain lasted for several weeks and the dizziness lasted a couple of years. The first year, I couldn't sleep on my right side or turn my head too quickly without getting dizzy and nauseous. The second year, the dizziness abated abit and occurred only when I had a cold. Needless to say, it didn't inspire me to get my left ear done anytime soon after that experience.

A few years ago, the hearing in my left ear deteriorated drastically. It was getting very hard to hear people speak especially if they are on the left side of me. I broke down and went to see my old surgeon but was told that he had changed specialty and was not performing this type of surgery anymore. He referred me to the Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at a well known hospital here in Toronto. This new doctor gave me information about a procedure that he prefers and specializes in, "Laser Stapedotomy". Despite the hearing deterioration in my left ear, the memory of the dizziness and nausea from the stapedectomy in my right ear still made me hesitate about getting this procedure done.

Last year, the hearing in my left ear lost another 10 decibels. I could not afford to be a chicken any longer. I had the "Laser Stapedotomy" done in my left ear at the beginning of Nov/09. It turned out to be an outpatient procedure which meant I didn't have to be hospitalized. My husband was able to take me home a few hours after the operation. Well, it was a miracle! I could hear out of my left ear right away (even through the packing and outer bandages) and I did not experience any pain or dizziness or nausea at all! It was a totally different experience from when I had my right ear done 25 years ago. The only side effects seem to be a bit of numbness along the left edge of my tongue and a slight metallic taste in my mouth. My surgeon told me these may go away as my ear heals.

My advice to anyone contemplating surgery is to find a highly skilled surgeon who specializes in "Laser Stapedotomy". This procedure is less invasive/traumatic than Stapedectomy.
Merry Woodham
Hello! I had a Stapedotomy back in 1980 on my left ear at age 22, it was a total failure with my nerves fried by a micro-operating drill used to enter through a much harden window to the the stapes bone. Of course within 2 years my right ear becamed affected and went down to 55 db in about 5 months and now I'm pushing close to 90 db at age 52. I've worn aids all these years, but have suffered a change in my overall mental stabilty that I never had before the surgery or hearing loss. Depression, uneasy feelings and the constant ringing,buzzing,roar is always there, light headed sort of and lack of energy. Can hearing loss cause mental changes other than those of dealing with the loss that's a norm for such a life altering event??? I've accepted the disability many years back, but can't shake the feeling of just not normal.

Thanks for this great site!
Hi Merry,

I would suggest you consult with your GP and see if he/she has info regarding hearing loss and the effects on mental health.

You should also ask your GP to refer you to an Otolaryngologist who specializes in LASER Stapedotomy (not stapedectomy) to discuss the possibility of getting it done for your right ear. If you could improve your hearing in at least one ear, it might give you an improved sense of normalcy. As I mentioned in my post, I had laser stapedotomy done a few months ago in my left ear and didn't experience any pain or dizziness at all. It is such a joy for me to be able to hear out of both my ears now (especially my left ear!).

Good Luck to you!
Stapedectomy is a very minor surgery. I heard very good about it. But, there will be very lucky people like me sometimes. I got Stapedectomy done on 12/22/09 to my right ear. Doctor told that my hearing was improved. But, as my ear is completely stuffed with cotton, I really didnot notice the difference. Immediate after the Stapedectomy I got the right facial paralysis (eye, nose, lips) and complete dizziness. I was not able to walk without support. Again I had to go for another surgery to fix the dizziness and to see what is happening inside. During the second surgery (happened on 12/28/09)they had to revert the stapedectomy and also had to do a nerve grafting for the facial nerve. Now even I am scared to look at my smile...can't close my eye...this is a horrible experience and doctors tell it might take 6 months...sometimes 12 months or event more than that. I sometime still feel the dizziness. Reading about all your experience, this site looks great to share our experiences. Can anyone who are as lucky as me share there experiences.

Any information is greatly appreciated.
Hi! I lost my hearing during my pregnancy. The specialist diagnosed me with otosclorosis and said that the bone it affected was a hormone-rich bone and that's why I lost it during the pregnancy. I had a stapedectomy on my right ear on 6/16/09. Had some dizziness and soreness after the surgery, nothing too unusual from what I'm hearing. My doctor never did a follow up audiology test, and was planning on doing one in May as a post-op on my right ear, and a pre-op for my left. He looked at it...said it was healed beautifully and that I could return to normal activity. On 1/26/09, I was working, and all of a sudden the person I was having a conversation with's voice started to sound synthesized (best way to explain it), and then it was like it was before the I have a seashell over my ear. I hear ringing and static noise and have a hard time distinguishing conversations...low-tone voices being the worst. I went back to the surgeon Monday and he examined my ear and used a tuning fork, then sent me for an audiology test. AND, because he never did the follow up one, the one he took on Monday did show I had hearing improvement from pre-op, but he wasn't very understanding that I know something is wrong because I can't hear as well as I was hearing. Just frustrated because I opted for the surgery instead of having to wear a hearing aid...and NOW, he's telling me that's my only option. If I get pregnant again will I lose my hearing completely? Do I have other options?

Thanks for listening and I'd appreciate any feedback!
I had stapedectomy done on my ears in 77 and79 at the Shea Clinic in Memphis by Dr. Shea who developed and did the first one in 1956. Both successful... Two weeks ago I returned for a revision on the right ear(had gradually lost 45% of hearing in that ear) Dr. Shea has done over 75,000 of these. I am not hearing yet and still have packing, so am anxious about the outcome. Whatever the outcome..I would still recommend Shea Clinic.
I suffered from otosclerosis and in 1960(?)underwent a STAPEDECTOMY in Johannesburg South Africa. It was avery new operation at the time. I had the hair shaved from behind my left ear and went into theatre bandaged. WheN I recovered after the operation, I was lying on my right side and could hear the nursing staff talking. A wonderful, memorable experience.

I was born in 1928 and have just celebrated my 82nd birthday.
As I come from a musical family I have found that the tone of sound of the operated (left) ear is higher (or lower) than the tone of the right ear. Which you appear NOR mention as a possible post-operative effect.!!

To the best of my knowledge I was one of the first pateintS to have a stapectomy in South Africa and the surgeon had just returned from the States where he had studied with the Doctor who had pioneered this type of surgery. I believe that previously the operation was performed through the mastoid bone which was extremely uncomfortable and also made one lose one's balance.

I developed hearing loss in my right ear during the late seventies and have worn hearing aids - ever since. i do have difficulty hearing now if there are a lot of people around or lots of background noise.

But what a difference that stapedectomy made to my life!!
I believe that a wmall piece of wire replaced the stapes and I was under the impression that a small piece fo skin had been used in order to ensure that the stapes stayed in situ.

Thank you for the excellent article. I must be one of the longest surviving deaf sufferers to have had my deafness operated on.

I always feel so sorry for Ludwig von Beethoven. What a difference it would have made to his life had the operation been able to be done during his lifetime.

Incidentally I had a general anaesthetic.

Christiane M. Elias formerly Behr; formerly Dives nee Mai. DOB 23/V/1928

I had three children
A son in Febuary 1950
A son in July 1951
A daughter in November 1952.
In May 1950 I had a miscarriage of a minute foetus.

I must admit that somewhere I read that when one was short of calcium the foetus took the easiest available source which apparently is the middle ear. I subsequently had another three miscarriages all of which were male foetus. I find that medical fact also very interesting.

I have undergone both a thorocotomy in 1980 when a vast tumour and the left lower lobe of my lung plus a rib were removed and these are now in the medical museum at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town South africa!!

In August 1994 I underwent an emergency double bypass in London England as I had an aneurysm in my left coronary artery.

I was supposed to have double hip replacements in 2000 but when I was informed that, as I have very high Blood Pressure I could possibly have a stroke, I refused to have a the operation saying I preferred to be in a wheelchair.!! Where I am now, in Folkestone, kent. UK on the Channel
Here I live, able to breathe with my one and a half lungs and with my heart beating happily with a vein which was taken from my left leg.!!
However,the circulation of both my legs in a very undesirable state. !!
I will not have another operation. But thank goodness for the ones that |I have had.
Christiane M. Elias MA(cum laude)(University of Stellenbosch), South Africa 1980)
Hello my name is Mohammad Daher
I do the stapedectomy surgery in left ear in 5-5-10 and till now I not hear in my ear and also I hear sound like bee sound doctor has told me after around 6 weeks I will hear again but till now nothing
What that s mean I need more time to hearing came again or I should back to doctor?
I had a stapedectomy 27 years ago and things were fine until about 8 months ago,when my hearing began to fail again.After several visits to the doctor,a scan, and hearing tests,I finally saw a surgeon who checked my ear,removed some wax,and showed me the plastic prosthesis embedded in a piece of wax.He could offer no explanation as to how it got from one side of the eardrum to the other,and I had had, no noticeable pain in the ear.Has anyone else had this experience?I am now being considered for surgery to the other ear as the surgeon seems reluctant to operate on the same ear again.I must point out that my first surgery was done in England and I now live in France.Has anyone experienced surgery twice in the same ear,and if so,what was the time span?
I had the procedure on both ears in 1995 and now have very noticable hearing loss on the left side. I am thinking of redoing the procedures but I would like to hear the answer to how long it is suppose to last before I have surgery again. My only "side affect" was that my saliva glands stopped working after surgery and I have been taking Salagen, a RX to produce saliva, since 1995. Do you think that it would get worse if I have another surgery?
I had the stap surgery over 5 years ago and every since the surgery i still experience dizziness and ringing in the ear. I went back to my surgeon and also to another physicion and the second physician perform a hearing test i passed the hearing test. i am still experiencing the dizziness and ringing in the ear. my surgeon said i may need a hearing aid. My question to you is: Is this common after having a stap surgery do one end up with a hearing aid.
I had surgry on my ear on April 28 in Albuqureque. The first three weeks were the worst thing I have ever experienced. Very little pain, double vision(everything stacked on top of each other higher the futher away it was), extreme vertigo, extreme depresion, blacking out without passing out and going to the ground feeling like I was spinning and being pulled down by a magnet. I don't have the double vision any more and the vertigo isn't as bad. I haven't had a non dizzy moment since the surgery. Stress of any kind seems to make it worse. They canceled my insurance on June 1st. My Dr. kept telling me I was fixing to be be better any day. Now it seems he has better things to do. I have no job, no insurance and no money. Is there a Dr. out there that can tell me what is the problem in my ear and can it be corrected? I can't work anymore and I can't drive even to town. I have driven for the past 38 yrs for a living. It seems I am up the creek with no paddle.
Mary E Brown
My husband had a stapedectomy October 2009. He was able hear again form 60% to normal upon eaking form surgery and for the next day, then complete hearing loss! These past tow months he has hearing as if he was under water. He wants to have another surgery, we have moved since the original. Could you please help us with a listing of physicians in the Dallas area who have preformed this procedure numerously? Your help is greatly appreciated.
Hi Everyone,

Haven't visited this site since January and was quite saddened to read of so many bad experiences. I guess I was one of the luckier ones whose surgery turned out well.

I urge anyone who has Otosclerosis and is contemplating surgery to do thorough research. There are 2 types of surgery available for this condition, Stapedectomy and the newer and less invasive Laser Stapedotomy (less chance of nerve damage). Please read up on both procedures and discuss them with your doctor.

Also, it is very important to find the best surgeon in your area for this type of procedure. Studies have shown that the outcome of either Stapedectomy or Stapedotomy depends greatly on how skilled your surgeon is. You should find out who is the Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at a major hospital near you and get your GP to refer you to that doctor. You may have to wait longer to get an appointment with this doctor but he/she will at least be assured to possess the right qualifications for this type of surgery.

Good Luck everyone.
i have had a stapedectomy in both ears worked well for about 3 yrs and have been wearing hearing aides ever it possible to redo the surgery
Hi Catherine,

My surgeon told me that if the problem is mechanical, it can be fixed. However, if the problem is nerve damage then it is not fixable.
I had a stapedectomy done in October,1974. I am now 63 years of age and I need to have an MRI of my head. I am told this cannot be done because nobody knows the the material used for the micro prothesis. I have checked with the surgeon's office and he did not include this type of data in his hospital's surgery report. Can you please inform me of the type of material used for this procedure back in 1974? Thank you very much since this information is a total mystery to the medical profession so far in all my attempts.

Can I have the MRI?
this article was great.I just had this surgery done and this page explained alot to me.
I had a stapedectomy done on my left ear in 1989. I went with this procedure, rather than a hearing aid, because the Otologist recommended it. I was nauseous for twenty four hours after the surgery..very disturbing. My hearing was better for about a year; then it reversed to what it was before. Since then I have worn hearing aids. I am considering another operation on my left ear,but I am reluctant to have it done again if the results will be similar. I would rather wear hearing aids, even if my insurance does not cover them. (By the way, why does an insurance company pay so many thousands of dollars for a stapedectomy, and yet refuse to pay for hearing aids?)
I spoke to a different otologist a couple of weeks ago; she suggested that it was the anasthesia which caused the nausea following my first surgery.
I still haven't decided what to do. Luckily I have enough money to pay for new hearing aids. Hearing aids are mostly digital now, very small, and more effective I am told.
Robert Ottaway
Can the surgery be performed twice on the same ear, after noise damage,
to hearing.
I just had the surgery 11/23/2010. I am feeling fine and can't wait to return to work. I was dizzy the first 2 days. Metal taste in mouth. No pain. I am not hearing at well as I like. I will have my right ear done in 6 months. Hopefully I won't need hearing aids anymore. Article was very helpful.
I had my ear surgery almost 3 weeks ago. The side effect that I am experiencing are the following:
1.)salty taste or metallic taste - is this permanent?
2.)ringing in my ears - is this permanent, what should I do?
3.)Ear position-for almost 3 weeks now the position is still not normal like the other side
is there anything I can do at this moment while still healing...put a tape around my ear?

My recovery was worse I had infection that my face got swollen, even my left ear where the stitches are. It is getting better now after I finished all the antibiotics medicine.
I have just had my operation on my left ear and as a result have got facial paralysis on this side. They say that the heat from the laser may have bruised the nerve and so that is what has probably caused it. I am very upset as I am only 31 and cannot smile or riase my eyebrow on that side talk or eaat properly. However I have noticed an improvement in my hearing even though the packing is in. Why me ey only 0.1 % of people get this. My consultants are some of the best in the country and they have never had this in any of thier surgeries. I am hoping that with the steriods they have given me I will get better but it could take months and there is no garuntee. I am very upset and sad, but reading your comments and others experiances I am hoping I will recover fully as my doctors are also hoping. Is there anything I can do to help. I only had the surgery 48 hrs ago. Im so depressed :-(
Quick question, I had my op done 7 days ago and the packing was removed yesterday,
There was a slight bleed when the packing was removed, but otherwise it all looked ok,
but my hearing is as bad or worse than it was before the op.
Should i be able to hear well now, or could it be due to swelling around the ear drum?
Having had this stapedectomy, I find that now a MRI is needed. Will the small amount of steel wire cause problems in the MRI?
I had my surgery on Sept 25, 2011, only a few days ago. I still have some bleeding and hearing has not yet returned. I am also experiencing dizziness! Are those symptoms common 5 days after surgery?
I need to know what kind of metal was used in replacing the stapes in the early 1980's. I had a very successful Stapedectomy done then but because I can't reliably tell my doctors what kind of metal may have been used. I can not use an MRI and now, thirty years later my life may depend on being able to use the MRI because a rare disease I have dictates that I should have an MRI done every three months to see about possible cancer growth in my liver. Please do not tell me to use a CT. My question is exclusively, what kind of metal was used in the Ear Stapedectomy in 1981/82. Thanks so much.
could loud sounds from being on a floating dock in the service and being next to diesel generators and exploding gunfire cause deafness in the inner ear. I had the operation using the procedure you mentioned years ago and was successful but now the deafness is coming back. Thank you for any information you can givve me.
I had an unsuccessful stapedectomy on my left ear in April 2006 that caused me to have wobbly
head. In June 2006 a doctor suggested a Labyrinthectomy which was not necessary. Now I cannot
hear from my left ear and still have the feeling of wobbly head. Could you help me?
Today, I woke up and can't hear much from my right ear which seems to be blocked. I hear only a roaring gushing noise.I had my right stapedectomy in 2003, 2 months later, I lost much of what I gained post surgery.Not happy with this I flew to Sydney for a second opinion. The doctor would not redo the right but I had my left done with a titanium prosthesis. The results were good initially till I had my first child in 2006. After my second pregnancy in 2009, I lost more hearing and have had frequent vertigo and severe tinnitus. I have been using two hearing aids after the surgeries. My hearing loss has now gone from conductive to sensorineural. The doctors in Hong Kong, where I live, have not much experience with otosclerosis and I have been informed that I may have cochlear otosclerosis which is worse. Reading about others experiences has been helpful. Among other things I have sinus problems and trouble equalising pressure in my ears.
I was diagnosted with otosclerosis December of 2010 and immediatly had a stapedectomy. a Smart Stapes Piston was placed. for the most part all has returned to normal. The ringing has almost completely gone away and hearing is at a much more normal level. the only issue I have is at times(2x week) I have a "static" noise. What is causing this?
i had both ears done this year, one in march and the other in june. Both were tested and are equal in hearing ability (at the low end of normal). i couldn't be happier since i wore hearing aids for over 5 years. i haven't had any problems and would recommend this to anyone considering this surgery. definitely do your research where you have it done. post op care is VITAL, no water in the ear, rest and don't pick up anything. listen to your doctor, ask questions.
Can Stapedectomies be done more than one time? Would appreicate an answer. Thank you.
shagul ahmed
i need the stapedotomy operationfor for my ear
i asking the cost of this operation
This is very nice site giving a detailed information. I had undergone Rt. Ear Stepedectomy, For initial days my hearing was excellent, i was able to hear the sounda far away also. But since few days i am feeling some heaviness on m operated ear, with a contineous hissing sound and lack of taste on centre part of my tounge.Can you please reply me by mail
1)Will my hearing improve further in next months.
2)How can i get the hissing sound treated?
3)Will my tounge taste as earlier with time?
It is one maonth back i was operated.Can i listen loud music now?
Guy Byrd
Reading some of these questions has me really scared. Why are there so many people with failed operations? I hear from one doctor that this should last a lifetime. Why all the return to deafness later on for these people? What's the point of having an operation that has such a high failure rate as demonstrated by these testimonials...? Can we be honestly reassured that this is a good procedure to go through with?
Thank you
I had the surgery in October and had to have a revision in November, 2011. I hear no better than before and still have tinnitus and now minor dizziness and a metallic/salty taste in my mouth. I would not do the surgery again. Can anyone tell me if flying has been a problem with the cabin pressure particularly on descent.
Barbara W
It is now 5 days since my stapedectomy. I have dizziness associated with head movement which has not improved since day 2(I can walk without support but feel mildly nauseous and dizzy most of the time)and my tinnitus - which was bad before - is even louder. I expected some symptoms as healing occurred but had thought they would be improving by now. Is this still normal and can I expect to lose this dizziness? I have no taste disturbance but would infinitely prefer that to the vertigo and cicada chorus tinnitus I now have, were I to be lucky enough to choose.

Please can you tell me what to expect? Thank you.
For me, the moderate dizziness lasted about two weeks; the tinnitus is unpredictable--mine is the same since before the surgery. See my note above.
Although my problem is not the same as those above, I do need some help. For the past 2 years, I have been using 2 hearing aids and lately, whether I am using one or both, for no apparent reason I begin to feel sick. If I am not quick enough in taking the hearing aids out, I am sick.
Specialist says he has never heard of this before but I cannot believe that I am the only person with this side effect. Has anyone heard of this before or can anyone point me in the right direction to get help?
I am Scheduled to have a stapedectomy done on April 13, 2012. I am really worried about the dizziness and nausea. It seems like it may not be worth doing. I am reading that people are out of work for weeks and I can not do that.
I had my stapedectomy on Wed 3/14/12 (today is Friday). I experienced a fairly bad headache for about 30 hours, and had some nausea and vomiting about 20 hours after my surgery. Today my dizziness is almost non-existent and I'm feeling pretty good. I do have itching way down in the ear canal that is driving me nuts, but I guess that will continue until the packing is removed at 3 weeks. I also have a metallic taste and strange sensation to my tongue on the side of the surgery. Although I won't know the full outcome for awhile, I can already tell that I am hearing differently than prior to the procedure.

To "T" (Message 85): If you are a candidate, I would not hesitate having this procedure if you have confidence in your surgeon. I know everyone heals differently, but I am a good example of not having many side effects. Good luck!
Guy Byrd -- I would guess that what you're seeing is the result of people who were unhappy with their procedures looking for some answers. People rarely go look up information about the procedure unless they're either considering it or something has gone wrong. It means the stories here will be skewed to the negatives with only a handful coming to report on successful surgeries. The rest are off living their lives and not thinking further about it.

I have not had the surgery yet. I'm hesitant due to the possibility of losing all hearing in the ear as sometimes happens. Some of these stories make me hesitate too, but I suspect there are many better stories out there.
I had a Stapedectomy on my left ear in 1976. It was a traumatic experience back then but was immediately beneficial. I still have good hearing in my left ear but am now considering having my right ear done as my hearing has deteriorated to the point of clinical deafness. Based on my previous experience I would have the operation done on my right ear without hesitation, however reading other peoples experiences I am now not so sure.
I had a stapendectomy for about a 20percent hearing loss. The nerves were completely damaged and now I have 90- 100 percent hearing loss (not correctable with hearing aids), vertigo, and tinnitus. I asked my surgeon prior to surgery how many of these procedures he performed a year and he told me "over 200". After the surgery I went to another surgeon and found out that this was not true. Almost no one does this many stapendectomies a year. My advice would be to be very careful and to have surgery as a very last resort. Losing this much hearing in my 30's and having permanent vertigo is horrible. My surgery was performed at one of the top ranked hospitals in the USA.
Before the stapendectomy in 07 on my right ear I had no hearing at all in at all. Keep in mind I have severe migraines, which at the time previous of 07 were under control.

I had the stapendectomy, did not receive much of my hearing like we had expected. Always feels as if it has to pop, like its full. Right after surgery the crystals fall. I had to go thru that several times. I was dizzy all the time. I had vertigo . My taste on the right side of my mouth was gone. Basically right down the middle of my head on the right side was numb. I had lost all sense of balance. I actually had to go to rehab to learn to walk again.

To this day, I still have no taste on the right side of my mouth, I have frequent numbness on the right side of my head.

But my question is: there are days that I had severe pain on the right side of face and head, it hurts to touch it comb my hair. It will last for days. And it comes and goes. I can't' seem to get any one to know how to care for it. Any ideas???

Everything is fine with the brain. tests have been done. And I know that they are not migraines, because I have had them long enough to know the difference.

Since this procedure, it has thrown my migraines uncontrollable. Any pain triggers migraines. Which is hard to one doctor that will look at two problems and treat it.

I had a RT Stapedectomy 6 weeks ago. After the procedure I had slight vertigo for a couple of days, no pain, no vommiting. I had one episode of nausea and dry reaching on waking (day 5) but was ok within a few minutes. For 6 weeks now I have continued to have 'fuzziness' in my head on and off all day - particularly when i drive the car or go for a walk. When I burp, yawn, stretch etc.I get a sharp sudden off-balance feeling and full head. It's not painful but definately unpleasant. It also happens when I apply any pressure to my eardrum. I also have that horrible metallic taste on my tongue and numbness which i have had since day 1. My hearing tests 4 weeks after surgery show no improvement whatsover, but no further hearing loss.

I'm not too concerned about the hearing loss now (I thankfully have one unaffected ear) but I am concerned about the fogginess I continue to experience. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Is it likely to be permanent? It has not got any worse over 6 weeks but it also hasn't shown any improvement - even after taking oral steroids for a week and antibiotic eardrops for the entire 6 weeks.

I am due to go back to the specialist in a few weeks for check up and to discuss revision surgery. I'm now fearful of being left permanently foggy or worse.

Any advice or shared knowledge would be appreciated.

Thanks :)
I had 1 successful stapedectomy on left ear- and- two on right ear, the right ear has caused such severe pain and torture. I was warned of ringing in the ears as a side effect of the surgery, and I sometimes heard gnats or crickets.Post surgery I hear a bull horn constantly blowing a high c note. I would have preferred to know the affect this" ringing in the ears" meant. I would prefer to bhe deaf as a stone in that ear than to have this noise in my head for tyhe rest of my tortured life.
I Need your Help please.
I had a right stapedectomy operation done on 1982 which restored my hearing in the right ear.
I am now 52 years of age and I need to have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging of my head.
I am told this cannot be done because nobody knows the material used for the micro prothesis on my right ear.
Can you please inform me of the type of material used for this procedure back in 1982 ?
and can I do a MRI without problems for my right ear ?
Any information that you may give me would be appreciated.
I Need your Help please.
I had a right stapedectomy operation done on 1982 which restored my hearing in the right ear.
I am now 52 years of age and I need to have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging of my head.
I am told this cannot be done because nobody knows the material used for the micro prothesis on my right ear.
Can you please inform me of the type of material used for this procedure back in 1982 ?
and can I do a MRI without problems for my right ear ?
Any information that you may give me would be appreciated.
Please let me know what they used for a stapedectomy in 1983. I had it done in my left ear. i need to get an mri, is it safe?

I had stapedectomy in my left ear 1991 and my right ear 1993. I am now experiencing hear loss and currently wearing bil hearing aids. I am not far from Boston. Can you give me any information about repeat surgery and outcomes. Who does this in Boston area? tks much.
Dennis Jordan
I had the procedure over 10 years ago. I'm noticing a crackling sound in the ear. Is this an indication that I'll need another operation?
hi, gm I had my I had stapedectomy in my right ear a month ago. I am now experiencing some abnormal sound in the ear and mind gets disturbed. pls advise about it's reason and other side effects, which I may face in future. Moreover, please advise the reason and treatment for above abnormal sound and disturbance in mind & precautions tobe taken by me. thanks
There are many bad stories on this site! I would like to add an excellent one. I hade a stapedectomy done in 1998. It has worked excellently since then. I'm planning on doing the other ear by the same doctor in the near future. I would have to believe there are many excellent outcomes with not enough people with good outcomes posting on this site. I have no reservations about having the second ear being worked on! In fact I just had a hearing test done this week and the ear that the surgery was performed on still has the same amount of excellent hearing it had post surgery in 1998. Not sure how this site can be slanted to so many poor outcomes! Also I don't restrict what I do, as an example I'm an avid Scuba Diver, diving to depths in excess of 200'. To anyone with reservations once again I say seek out someone who has done this procedure successfully many times and get it done!
linda signer
I had a stapedectomy done in my left ear in San Diego, Ca. about 10 years ago. I seem to be having some trouble with that ear now and feel I need to go to an ENT who does this surgery. I now live in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Can anyone recommend a good ENT doctor in Ottawa who has done this operation? Thanks.
Had stapedectomy done 20 years ago and having hearing loss for the past eight years. Would another operation be advisable?
I just had my stapedectomy. I woke up with blisters on my tongue and a loss in taste and control on the right side of my tongue. How long should this clear up? Also, my surgeon didn't inform me of this complication, is he legally liable if my sense of taste doesn't return or the blisters keep growing? Thanks.
I had a stapedectomy on my right ear 7 weeks ago today. A few days after surgery I still had an "underwater" sensation in my ear and because of this my hearing was actually worse. I was told this was due to the packing and it would get better once the packing disolved or was removed. However, it has not improved at all. My doctor wants to do an exploratory procedure to see if the prosthesis has come off, or if it is not long enough. I'm not sure what I will do. Could anyone give me advise or suggestions?
Had a stapedectomy about 15 years ago and it immediatey improved my hearing. The problem now is the very serious siren that constantly is in that ear. Sometimes that side of my head around my ear feels numb when the siren is the loudest. This constant noise makes me very edgy and have to take heavy duty sleeping pills so I can sleep. I also sleep with a sound machine placed beside my bed on full volume to help get my mind off of the ear noise. The ear noise is definitly worse than the loss of hearing that I had before the operation. I did have a second stapedectomy in the same ear about five years ago and again it helped my hearing but the ringing is still extreme. If I had to start all over again I would just get a hearing aid.
I've just gotten to the point in my otosclerosis where my specialist is suggesting I get the surgery. I'm waiting to hear from the surgeons office.
My questions are these:

1. I am a musician. Will this affect my ability to perceive tones in any way? Have there been any documented cases where it changes the hearing in more ways than just volume?

2. Is this going to end up being a repeat procedure, as many others have asked? Will I need to have this surgery done every 10 years or so? (I'm just thinking of financial considerations)
kenneth Ludke
I had a stapedectomy done in 1986. The Doctor is long gone. Can I have an MRI or have the
Stapedectomy reversed?
I had a left stapedectomy 9 days ago. Starting 4 days ago, I have had severe dizziness. Now I have a severe sinus headache. I have tinnitus in the left ear. I feel woozy all of the time, my head feels stuffed up, and nothing feels normal. I thought I was supposed to feel ok after a week but I am feeling worse. Is this normal? I will call the doctor agin tomorrow.
I'm 42 and had a stapedectomy in March 2013, which was 10 yrs after noticeable hearing loss began. It has been a success thus far. Lot of negative outcomes on this board, all of which I had read before my procedure, so I wanted to offer a contrasting story. After surgery, I had pain for which I took meds for about 2 days. After that, meds only to help sleep for a couple more days. That was it. Unexpectedly, it was the incision made in the outer ear to obtain tissue for the implant that hurt for several weeks. I had some dizziness for the first few days, but it gradually subsided and was gone completely by the end of week 2. I had no facial nerve symptoms that I am aware of (some slight taste effects early on, but I'm not sure that these weren't a result of drainage from the middle ear into the mouth). The most disappointing part for me was not hearing well for the first week due to the swelling of the ear canal and the packing material. Once that began to clear up, I was greatly encouraged. In fact, during weeks 2-4 or so, sounds were actually too loud. (For the scientifically inclined... this is a neuroplasticity effect deriving from the chronic efforts of the auditory system to increase the gain from the impaired ear, and it takes a while for the brain to adjust the gain down again.) I did all the little things (keep it dry, don't suppress a sneeze, avoid pressure increases caused by nose blowing, exercise, toilet time, etc) and tried to just let my body heal. Can't say how much that mattered, but it probably did. I do still get an occasional (maybe once/day) brief bit of tinnitus, but it is quiet and passes in seconds (which is pretty much the same pattern I had before the surgery too). My ability to hear conversations is so much better (I gained 50 dB). Perhaps I was fortunate in my outcome. Clearly, there are many people who were not. However, I was told that the overall outcome statistics for modern surgery are 90-95% positive with only about 1% negative. I worried greatly about being in that 1% category. The worry is not without merit, but I weighed it against the impact that hearing loss was having on my life, and I am currently glad I made the choice that I did.
I have had a stapedectomy just over a week ago having had it twice before this is the worst one yet, i cannot hear a thing i have constant severe itchiness and my ear is on fire I'm beginning to wonder if i have an infection i have no idea if this is normal or a cause for concern have tried to contact the nurses/surgeon with no luck i have had a follow up appointment sent through for four weeks time to have the pack removed meaning i will have had the same pack in for 5 weeks I'm concerned as it covered in dry blood itchy to the point of madness and hurts a lot i have since the op got a cold so i don't know if this has made it worse or i have an infection is it normal to wait five weeks to get this removed i never waited this long before and all the research i have done says normal waiting times is between 1-2 weeks?
I had a stapedectony performed in late 70's or early 80's. Am I at risk if I get an MRI? What kind of material was used during that time period. Am I able to get an MCI?
I've had three titanium prothesis imstalled, all of which failed. The first was done in the 90s after the removal of a cholesteotoma. That's when the ringing in the ears started. The hearing results were mediocre for about 8 years and then failed when I had a cold. I did a "revision" that resulted in further worsened hearing. A year later, I did another revision, but still nothing. For the person asking about the material used during the 80s, I imagine the Hoise Ear Clinic could tell you as they are world renown in this field. I would email them. I was told an MRI would not be a problem. In fact, the prosthesis is so small, they said it would not show up in a MRI. For those worried about the ringing and buzzing, you learn to drown that out. It takes about two years, but you get there. For the person who is depressed, I was as wellI. This is a separate issue, though. You should see a psychiatrist who can prescribe something for it. Also, going hang gliding really helped. Getting a dog might also be a good move. Do something to take your mind off it. Stay busy. Stay entertained. This is an incredibly stressful procedure- especially during the recovery. You hear all sorts of noises in your head, you're worried to death you might sneeze or blow your nose or get sick or do something wrong and mess everything up, you might hear fine one day and then nothing the next. I wouldn't reccomemd it to anyone after visiting this forum. I thought I might have just gotten unlucky and was considering another try with a different surgeon. Now I'm thinking no thank you.
I have had both my ears done, first one when I was 18 and the other when I was 21. I am 47 now and my hearing has been fine until the last couple of years. I have been tested again recently and my stapes are fine, ENT specialist said could be in my inner ear now and to just wear hearing aids (which I have started wearing)and monitor my hearing. As for ringing in my ears or any other problems - NONE. Best thing I could have done!
Tina Lawson
Had my surgery Dec. 27, 2013, when I woke the room was spinning the ringing was so loud and yes I was sick, no amount of phenergan helped. This continued for about a week. The dizziness, and unsteadiness continued along with spells of feeling I could not hear anything but a constant ringing all the way to hypersensitive hearing and feedback in my ear. I am not three and a half weeks post op. First day back to work and motion sickness is still there, feel like I am on a boat and a constant buzzy ringing in my ear. Sounds come and go some things are definitely more increased while others not. I would never repeat this. I have sneezed and coughed, and been sick to my stomach so the worry of something slipping was very bad. I only have 5% packing left and have been on up to 40mg prednisone a day...this is driving me crazy. Doctor will not let me drive or lift over 5 pounds due to my case being one of the worse. I can hear some better but it does worry me the amount of trouble I have had
I had my left ear done in Fort Worth in 1996. I was sick and unable to even walk without throwing up. My doctors sent me to various other doctors and no one really knew what to do for me. I got a little improvement in my hearing, but not much. Then in 1997, I went to a new doctor that is supposed to be the best in our area, he was going to operate on the left ear and then re-do the right ear once the left had heeled. Unfortunately, when I went to my post-op visit a week later and they removed the packing in my ear- they realized that I was now deaf in the right ear. I was 27 with a three week old baby at home. I have not found a doctor willing to re-do the first ear and I have been told there is nothing to do for the second ear. Anyone know anything different? My Dad, brother and sister have this too. They have each had both ears operated on. They all went well, but my sister went deaf in one ear too.
Becky Zeone
I had a stapendectomy in 1973. What material was used then? Is it safe for me to have an MRI?
Jerry Caldwell
I had this operation on one ear in 1982 and have never had a problem. Subsequently I went to other
Doctors and they would not do the second ear stating that they would not take the risk
of damaging the eardrum and or the nerve. Also I have been told I cannot have an MRI because
of the risk of damage to the implant. Jerry Caldwell
How long do stapendectomies last? I had 1 done 11 years ago and suddenly can't hear out of that ear any more.
Lori Harris
I had a stapedectomy in 1987, I need to have an MRI, I'm trying to find out what it was made of. The MD who did the surgery has retired
I just had this surgery performed today and came across this website. I would like to offer some corrections in the article's misuse of commas and to clarify its contents. Let me know if you are interested. I have a lot of down time and am a former researcher and grant writer.
I had a stapedectomy in the mid 80's. Now I am having trouble getting an MRI, because my provider fears there may be metal in my ear. My doctor for the surgery had told me the new bone was teflon. Could there have been metal used to attach the teflon to the ear? Thank you.
I had a stapedectomy in about 1976 on my right ear and could immediately hear coming out of the OR and can still hear well today. Left ear stapedectomy x3 never worked and now I have a hearing aid in that ear. My present problem is that I now need an MRI and I have searched my records to find the type of metal was used to replace the stapes but records only say metal prosthesis. Does anyone know what type of metal they used back then? I don't wand it to pull out by the powerful MRI magnet. My MD says it will "probably be alright".. But then, it is not his hearing.
I had my first Stapedectomy on the 4th December 2014 which I had put off for two years. After much thought and consideration I decided to have the procedure done after seeing my late mother struggle with her hearing loss in both ears. After the operation it was amazing to have hearing almost immediately. I found myself rubbing my finger over the dressing and could not believe I was hearing the sound of my finger running over the dressing. I always slept on my right side so I could not hear noises while asleep as I am a very light sleeper and now I hear everything. I think I am still in the healing process and my ear still feels strange to me or even a little swollen. I am due to go for a hearing test later this month so will be keen to see how much my hearing has improved. I am thankful to have been able to have the procedure and know that the right ear will be next but hopefully not for a few years still. Be brave take the chance is has made a difference for me.
Sandeep Godara
I am Ravinder I have in both ear pain tinnitus and hearing loss after piston surgery in left ear in p.g.i Chandigarh from 7month no improved the tinnitus and pain in operated ear increase continue .please help me
I've had 5 Stapedectomies. 3 right, 2 left. I have the FISCH STEEL Teflon pistons. I need to know what these prosthesis are made of, so I can have a MRI. Can anyone help me?
Had mine done 10 days ago. Went back to work and driving after day 4 (Dr., said I could return the next day!).

I'm blowing my nose very gently and getting back into some activity today (hope I didn't over so it, but with two small kids there isn't down time).

Still can't hear much (muted sound), and go to the Dr on Tuesday! Hope I get cleared!

The worst part - coming out of general and the first few days. My jaw is still sore and I really want a good shower!
I had my right ear done in the early 80's and I am sure I was told the Prosthesis was ceramic. But now everyone is saying it would have been metal so I cannot have an MRI.
I'm not fussed. There are still CT Scans, Ultrasounds etc.
I'm with Pete (99). There are so many bad stories on this site.
I've never looked back and would have no hesitation in recommending the procedure if someone was unsure.
I am considering this surgery and am very concerned about all the negative comments! Has the procedure greatly improved over the years? How do you know if you have a reputable surgeon?
I had the surgery 24 years ago 1993 and have had absolutely no problems what so ever. I had 50 percent hearing in my left ear and 67 in my right . I now have 99 percent hearing. I am 47 years old now. I too need and MRI and never knew what type of material is in my head. I've never set off any sensors at the airport... lol.

I think ppl with problems would have problems anyway because the muscle was stretched or tendon cut. Get references for surgeons but i'm sure the procedure is faster than ever these days.
I had my stapedectomy done in 1990. I am 43 now. Since I was around 22, I have had intermittent dizziness, which I thought was called benign vertigo. I have had this side affect for years and sometimes it hits very hard. I do notice less hearing than I had recovered after surgery, but still hear very well. Recently I have been suffering from allergies here in the trees are bad...I keep getting swelling in my right side glands behind my ears and my dizziness symptoms get worse. I am being treated with sudofed..but it makes the dizziness worse though it helps the swelling. Is my prosthesis starting to fail?? My sister had surgery on both ears and it was a success. She is a flight attendant and deals with colds and pressure changes but does not seem to be suffering from side affect. She had her surgeries 5 years ago.
What is the solution who facing same problem after tens of surgery
Gertrude Armstrong
I have been trying to find out what the gel strut wire that I had put in place maybe in the 60's consisted of. Some say I can other say no to an MRI?
Thank you,
sir' i recently had a surgery about 2 weeks earlier . just because of a little hole in my tympanic membrane but that time i could hear properly without any problem. after surgery i am worrying about my ear because now there is some little prob occurring to hear still in 2 weeks . i just want to know how many days will it take to hear properly as i earlier was. date of surgery was 7/ 7/15. plz help me to know it.
Jehanzab khan
Please anybody tell where I buy or transplant artificial rit ear in Pakistan? ??
It's possible in Pakistan
Please tell me
keith jones
I had a stapedectomy done back in 1983 and i would like to know what the prosthesis is made of.
This because i am in need of a MRI scan and i need to know if any metal is invoved in its manufacture.
Can you suggest me after the stapedectomy till how much time i should avoid to save ear from water ??? Does water should not enter for lifetime ??
can any one recomend me to a doctor to get the surgery done am living in trinidad and will travel to maryland usa thanks
Marcela Bordeu
I need to know for how many years does the surgery work ok
For how many years everything is ok, and you don't have any problems or changes.
I had mine on 1991 . I was perfectly ok ,but I had a kind of cold - flu and I remained practically without hearing.
What are the sympthons that show you there has been a problem with the prosthesis ?
Linda Fullerton
Does anyone know what kind of wire was used in stapedectomys done in Florida in 1986 ? The information could mean the difference between an MRI vs myelogram prior to pending back surgery.
Thank You
Rajendra Panigrahi
I have otoclearsis in both my ear.After going through audiometry test it found that I have severe hearing loss 63dbon left ear and 43 db on right year.Doctor suggested me go for surgery left ear first.I need suggestion wheather go for surgery or there any side effect.
Belinda Coetzee
I was scheduled for a stapedectomy and the doctor started the operation. When the doctor came to see me after the operation, I was told that he could not do the operation as a nerve is very close(over the area) where he must work. Is there anything that can be done? My medical aid does not pay for hearing aids and the are very expensive.
James Barker
I had a stapedectomy operation in 2007. My left ear was done the year before and is 100%. The right ear that was done last I am deaf. o% hearing. Doctors said if is probity the nerve that was damaged. Can I have another operation? I have tried a hearing aid with no success. Please give advice? I am a manager that is battling in meetings.
Pedro Delavega
Hi all,
I had stepedectomy surgery on the 14 Feb 2018 in London at Guy’s Hospital right ear,( London Bridge ). 9:00 am general anaesthesia - at 12:00 PM after 3 h I was awake .
Sat in recovery room till 18 :00 , more to wait Dr to see me . After we parked car I was vomiting and suddenly a ring in my ear tinnitus very loud . After surgery I had no noise in my ear. Today Saturday 17 Feb I am dizzy only, change cotton twice a day ( fluids coming off which are normal).
I called hospital left messages / even late Dr called me assured that All my side effects are normal 👍, salty test , metal taste side of tong. no long walks / sleepy days ; hope all these will go away. I take Amoxacillin 500mg every 6 h , algocalmin . No pain at all . I am 49y . All the best for all.
I just finished reading this article and got off phone from talking to the chief surgeon. After talking to chief surgeon, he confirmed that i have loss of hearing on both ears. I'm having my worse side done first which is the left. This article has answered most of my questions regarding the success rate and risks. I feel more positive now about the stapedectomy surgery that I will have soon. Thank you for all of you who shared your concerns and comments have helped me a great deal in making this decision.
Cathi Carhartt
Can the surgery be redone if your hearing starts to deteriate after 25 years. I do not have any nerve damage.
I'm going to have this surgery done early next year. Have insurance but am wondering about the cost.
I had a stapectomy11 days ago. I was very dizzy the first 5-6 days and felt weird when I burped or yawned, still do, it feels like the rug is being pulled out from under me. It’s like a violent thunder in my head and I feel like I’m going to fall over. I still feel like the right side of my head (the surgical side) is throbbing. Is this normal?
3 weeks, slowly and steadily improving but relapsing occasionally on dizziness and nausea. Some eye pressure, numbness in face and vision issues after a week Ear doctor says its unrelated?! That seems like an odd response... No related if it was successful? Has me a bit concerned.
I had undergone stapedoctomy before 3 yearsof left ear. second surgery was done, as I was continuously suffering from vertigo. In second surgery prosthesis was removed after one month. From next day of first surgery hearing is loss has happened. And even hearing Aid is not working. please guided what is to be done to improve hearing.

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