My name is Rick , age 43 and I just had my 2nd, actually 3rd stapedectomy (yep,the first one wasn't successful, then I went to John's Hopkins...and there is NO BETTER HOSPITAL! in my humble oppinion)
If you are having or just had a stapedectomy or have just been diagnosed with Otosclyerosis, you might be encouraged to read this post.
I'll start by telling you that it was 12 years ago that I had my right ear done in a little town in Pa, Yes, it is of the utmost importance to choose a doctor who has experience in this area of specialty. I had the operation under general anastesia, long story short, was NOT sucessful and this guy even lost a prostesis somewhere in my middle ear! (John's Hopkins' Dr Minor had fished it out during the revision stapedectomy!) After 2 years of discouragement, I finally went to John's Hopkins and my whole world changed! Sucessful revision stapedectomy this time! ...right ear fixed! Now fast forward to present...
About 2 years ago, my left ear began to have a loss...yes talk about frustration, I was really hesitant to have both ears to be totally dependant on a prostisis! I have a wierd way of determining my motivation for repair...I am a bow hunter and when I got busted last fall by dear walking directly toward me from my left and I thought they were coming in from the RIGHT, that did it for me! I made the decision right there that to hear better, with the years I do have left to be active, was a "risk" I would be willing to take now...I had had enough of not hearing right! You learn to adapt, but once your ear is repaired, you wonder why you let it go so long.
April 17, 2008 I had my left ear done. Dr John Carry, John's Hopkins again. This time I was sooo much more prepared for all the things that were about to happen.
He used the most advanced procedure available, laser and a self crimping prostisis.... 5 weeks later, 100% satisfaction, yes, what a wonderful feeling to be able to hear the little things that I had forgotten about! Like the sound of the seatbelt coming up from behind me when I pulled it, and waking up hearing the birds outside the window, and in a crowd, wondering why it's so "loud" over on my left side! I remember telling all the strangers in the elevator that day that I was probably the most happiest guy in the entire hospital! I make friends easy! I like to be an encourager, and even if they didn't know why I was so happy, the message was "John's Hopkins helped ME, and they can help you too!
Big comment about the healing process...there has been quite a lot of things written here about the cracking and popping and packing and dizzyness and loss of taste and all, but it usually will all improve with time! Give it time, really! The most important thing I can say is once the initial packing is out, the doctor will still have to remove the inner packing with a little vacuum, the stuff that is right up against the eardrum...(some Dr's put packing behind the eardrum, mine did not, and I understand that that packing will take a little time to disolve.)
Then and only then will you be able to notice that your operation has been a success!! And if your like me, you might just be a little emotional at this point! I will say that at first when I took the cotton ball or outer packing out, I really didn't have any improvement in my hearing. I know how irritating it is to be hearing yourself talking for the first couple weeks after surgery, but it is worth it to not be discouraged at this time, because that packing right up against the eardrum will make it really impossible to hear anyway! Don't be discouraged during this time, please!
What a miracle! I would have been literally going deaf if it weren't for the technology to do this operation! The stapes bone was beginning to be fixed and eventually even a hearing aid could not help! Embrace the opportunity to be able to hear! Don't put it off for years, because "This is the very first day of the REST of your life!" I, for one, am sooo grateful to be able to hear again! Can't wait till June 25th to have my hearing tested again!
My final advice: Do exactly as the doctor says after surgery...it's a temporary inconvenience for a permanant improvement! Don't lift, don't blow your nose, Do sleep with your head elevated for the first couple of nights, Don't be discouraged! Don't wonder if it was a success, because a very high percentage of these operations ARE successful! I no longer take anything for granted, every day is a gift and there is always something to be thankful for!
Thanks for reading my post, it really is therapudic to write it all down...I sincerely wish you the best with your situation!
Last edited by rmabowhunter; 05-25-2008 at 06:17 AM.
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Thanks for the great note. I just had my stapedectomy this past Thursday the 22nd and I've had very few side effects. But since my ear is still all packed up I obviously can't hear much of anything out of that ear, so it's a little nerve wracking. I'm crossing my fingers for a successful outcome over the next few weeks.
Best of luck to you! Remember, untill the doctor removes the packing that he put right up against your eardrum, you won't be able to hear....but get ready for a thrill when you have your follow up and he removes it! It isn't much, but it makes all the difference once it's removed.
Thanks for the encouragement. Any tips on keeping my ear dry? I'm on day 4 and my ENT said I could shampoo so long as I plugged my ear with cotton that had been heavily coated with Vaseline. Despite my best efforts, when I got out of the shower and removed the cotton, the cotton was soaked with water. I'm thinking of maybe using a rubber band to secure a very thin plastic sandwich bag around my ear?!
In the meantime I've spent the past 15 minutes walking around with my head sideways and my ear pointed down. I don't think any water got in there, just playing it safe.