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Old 12-10-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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lisamont HB User
Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

I am new to this forum, have been reading the posts for several months now. I started having hearing loss problems about a few years ago. After completing hearing testing (3 times), I have been told that I do not appear to have any nerve damage and am a very good candidate for stapedectomy surgery.

With all the research I have done - thanks to all who have relayed their experiences in this Message Board - the most important thing to pursue in making the decsion is to find a very experienced, qualified doctor who has done this surgery ALOT of times. I understand this greatly increases your success rate???

The local doctor I am seeing has done the surgery less than a dozen times so I am not comfortable having the surgery through him.

Has anyone in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Illinios, Minnosota area) had the surgery that could recommend a surgeon? My next step is to get a second opinion. I am willing to travel a bit to find the right doctor.

While the forum has been great information, I am scared to death as I have never had major surgery. I need to get going on this (I am 49) and hope replies to this thread will give me the encouragement I need to take the next steps.

I would like to give myself the gift of hearing for my 50th birthday! (at least in one ear, I am 10 months away!)

Thanks for any assistance you can provide,

Lisa

Last edited by lisamont; 12-10-2008 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling error

 
Old 12-12-2008, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recomendation for a Surgeon

Hi there Lisa-

You may want to consider Dr. John Shea, Jr. in Memphis, TN. He invented the stapedectomy surgical procedure and just performed one on my remaining bad ear this past Tuesday. I live in Chicago, but people from all over the world travel to see him and I couldn't recommend him more. His prices are also considerably lower due to the fact that he runs his own surgical center and is not affiliated with a hospital. The entire staff there is top notch.

Best of luck to you

Last edited by moderator2; 12-12-2008 at 07:15 AM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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lisamont HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Thanks for the info, I will certainly consider it. How many trips did you need to make down there from consultation to post surgery? You indicated that this is your second surgery, have you had any long lasting or permanent side affects? I have heard that sometimes the side affects out weigh the benefits of better hearing. Did you try hearing aids before you had the surgery done?

 
Old 12-15-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Lisa-

I have seen Dr. Shea a total of 4 times including the intitial appointment, all of the labs and hearing tests, the surgeries, and post-surgical follow ups. I will go and see him for a fifth and final time in January to follow up on my recent surgery. He's nothing short of a miracle worker. Someone on his staff told me that he's performed 40,000 plus procedures.

I've had 3 surgeries on my right ear (last was 7/1/08) and 1 on my left (12/9/08). The first 2 surgeries on my right ear were performed by a local Otolaryngologist about 5 years ago and were both failures. I will withold the Dr's name here, but after the 2nd surgery failed, the Dr. told me that my hearing loss was permanent and that I needed to start wearing hearing aids. Up until this year, I had been wearing those hearing aids for about 5 years. Dr. Shea discovered (during my revision surgery in my right ear back in July) that the prosthesis from my 2nd surgery had detached and had penetrated my ear drum. Dr. Shea removed the old prosthesis, repaired my ear drum, and inserted a prosthesis of his design. My hearing has steadily improved ever since. Not only did he invent the stapedectomy, but a good deal of the surgical tools and implants as well.

In terms of side effects for me personally (bear in mind that everyone responds differently), I experienced some vertigo for about a week after the July surgery, and have some currently after last week's procedure, although not as bad this time. I also have some intermittent ringing, but that seems to subside after some time goes by. Dr. Shea also grafts a vein from the back of your hand into the oval window, so you will have about an inch long scar on your hand. These are all easily lived with issues considering my hearing has been improved in my right ear (left is still fresh from surgery) to the point that my hearing aids have been retired and I no longer need them. While I'm aware that there are many potential outcomes, including permanent hearing loss, my hope is that you can share in my success and have a similar outcome. I'm confident that you will not find a more experienced surgeon, in addition to the amazing staff at Shea Clinic. There's even an extended stay hotel attached to the clinic (I stayed 2 nights) where you can stay short term plus they were able to seamlessly work with my insurance to the point that both of my surgeries cost less than a third of what my hearing aids cost 5 years ago. This was clearly a no brainer for me.

Sorry for the long post, but my hope is that it gives you some background and will assist in your decision.

Best of luck to you and please let us know what you decide to do.

 
Old 01-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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ivory10 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

hi and I would be interested in knowing who your dr. is at shea hospital and where is shea hospital.
I had stapedectomy in both ears. sm wires replaced the stapes bone. one in 68 and the other in the 80's, I been wearing hearing aids in both ears for about 6 in the rt ear and 28 yrs in the left I want correction so I don't have to wear hearing aides any advice.

 
Old 01-06-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
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BlueMax27 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Hi there Ivory-

Dr. John Shea is located in Memphis, Tennessee here in the US and he operates Shea Clinic there.

You mention that you had stapedectomies in both ears. Were they not successful? What sort of wires were inserted? I know that Dr. Shea can correct previously failed procedures as my right ear was a revision from 2 previous attempts by another surgeon and the results are amazing.

Good luck!

Last edited by moderator2; 01-06-2009 at 06:33 PM.

 
Old 01-07-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

thanks for your info
I had the surgeries one when I was 17 and the other about 35 yrs old. I am not 58. I have to wear hearing aids and I get some swoohing noise in my left ear time to time and now I can't hear out of the hearing aids good cuz of some air blockage I have to plug my nose and let it go to get good sound for only a min. then it goes back to plug. I want to see if they can redo the surgeries, but to find a dr. in vancouver canada is hopeless. and coming to the states I would have to pay and I won't have the money. so in the mean time I am unhappy and frustrated that my ears are not working. you would think from having the surgeries you wouldn't have to wear hearing aids. I would of never had the surgeries if I knew I had to wear hearing aids. and now my ears are worse. I just want a dr. to tell me if it is possible to correct any damage, replace the wires. clean out scar tissue, or what ever they can come up with to correct me. After all this is 2009 they must know something. and I am getting know where. thanks ivory10

 
Old 01-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #8
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Sallyndh HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

I was considering Dr. Shea, but how old is he? I know he is in his 80's which makes me very nervous. I am considering someone local who is quite younger and is affiliated with one of the best hospital ent departments in the country (Ochsner, New Orleans). He does 3 stapedectomies a week on the average. What is your opinion?

 
Old 01-25-2009, 12:14 AM   #9
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kgummey HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

I just had the surgery myself and I think that if your surgeon does 3/week and has for at least a few years that he is a really safe bet!! I had to travel 5 hours for a dr. with enough experience. But it has been worth it - my experience so far has been so much better that I had hoped for. I have to turn down the volume on everything and remind people that they don't have to speak so loudly to me now!! Can't wait to get the other ear done!!

 
Old 02-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #10
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dg195 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Hi ! I have been diagnosed with Otoscelerosis recently and the specialist I consulted suggested Stapedectomy procedure for both my ears.
I was researching on the subject for some information and I gathered that this particular procedure has minimal risks when conducted by an experienced physician.

The specialist I visited is new to his profession so I am looking for a recommendation for an experienced surgeon with good skill around Dallas area.
Please help me.
Thanks!

 
Old 02-06-2009, 08:16 AM   #11
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Sallyndh HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

You are making the right decision as to not choosing a physician who is new to this procedure. Find one that does many of these all the time. Actually my first ENT told me he used to do them, but not enough to gain profeciency.. so he stopped doing them. I appreciated his honesty and he suggested a doctor for me.

I have set up surgery with Dr. Molony at Ochsner Hospital. When I met him, I asked what his success rate was, asked him if I could contact one of his previous patients who had the surgery, and he showed me the old and new audiograms of his recent patients who had stapedectomies...noting the improvement in hearing. In other words, make a doctor back up his profeciency. And, don't get both ears done at one time..but most doctors would not do that anyways.

My sister, mom, and cousin all have had this surgery done with good results. Dr. Shea's clinic in Memphis is supposed to be fantastic...I just have issues with his age...Good luck and keep in touch!

 
Old 02-06-2009, 01:10 PM   #12
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dg195 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Thanks for the reply Sallyndh !
Thats a really helpful suggestion you made to talk to the doctor. I am going to see a doctor who is been practicing for almost 15 years now in March 1st week. He seems pretty busy and I hope my search ends with him.
I am here by myself and might have to ask some of my friends to help me out during the surgery. So going to TN is not an option for me.
Is there a place online like a website where I can subscribe to find a list of specialists in the area I live.
Also any specific suggestions on a website that gives helpful information on the specialists by their expertise based on their success rate and the time they have been praciticing etc.

Please suggest !

 
Old 02-07-2009, 10:16 AM   #13
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Sallyndh HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

I have not found a site that will list ents by area and performance. Actually this site could be used to find someone in the Dallas area. I have seen other posts where people are looking for a surgeon in a specific area. You might luck out and get someone in your area who will respond with a doctor's name. I tried it but did not get any results awhile back.

Good luck!

 
Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 AM   #14
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BlueMax27 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sallyndh View Post
You are making the right decision as to not choosing a physician who is new to this procedure. Find one that does many of these all the time. Actually my first ENT told me he used to do them, but not enough to gain profeciency.. so he stopped doing them. I appreciated his honesty and he suggested a doctor for me.

I have set up surgery with Dr. Molony at Ochsner Hospital. When I met him, I asked what his success rate was, asked him if I could contact one of his previous patients who had the surgery, and he showed me the old and new audiograms of his recent patients who had stapedectomies...noting the improvement in hearing. In other words, make a doctor back up his profeciency. And, don't get both ears done at one time..but most doctors would not do that anyways.

My sister, mom, and cousin all have had this surgery done with good results. Dr. Shea's clinic in Memphis is supposed to be fantastic...I just have issues with his age...Good luck and keep in touch!
Hi Sally-

Dr. Shea performed a revision stapedectomy on my right ear that was completely messed up (twice) by an otolaryngologist less than half his age. Yes, he may be in his eighties, but he invented the procedure, has performed more than 40,000 of them, and the right one was so successful that I had him do the left one recently and my hearing has been restored to levels I haven't heard in many years. The best part was that after insurance paid their share, the cost to me was 1/3 of what I paid for my hearing aids. He runs his own surgical center, which keeps costs down, and he (along with the entire staff) have been the best medical staff I have ever dealt with. I couldn't have been more comfortable with my entire experience there. Of course, YMMV, but for me personally, I couldn't be more pleased with my outcome. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

 
Old 02-10-2009, 06:28 PM   #15
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dg195 HB User
Re: Stapedectomy - Looking for a Recommendation for a Surgeon

Thanks for sharing your experience BlueMax.

Dr. Shea seems to be very experienced with the procedure.

 
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