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Old 11-12-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Hello, I have been diagnosed with otosclerosis and I will likely opt for surgery on the right ear in the near future.

Does anybody have any recommendations for a surgeon in the Pittsburgh area? Preferably in the UPMC healthcare network?

Thanks

 
Old 11-13-2011, 02:20 AM   #2
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Quote:
Originally Posted by mspgh View Post
Hello, I have been diagnosed with otosclerosis and I will likely opt for surgery on the right ear in the near future.

Does anybody have any recommendations for a surgeon in the Pittsburgh area? Preferably in the UPMC healthcare network?

Thanks
Highly recommend Dr. Berenholz or Dr. Lippy at the Lippy Group in Warren, Ohio.
Search "Lippy Group".

 
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Thanks Ashton11, are you in Pittsburgh or nearby?

Dr Lippy's name came up early in my research. It looks like he is about 2 hours away from Pittsburgh. Not sure if he would be covered by my health insurance though.

UPMC has some world class facilities right here in town. I was hoping that I could find a surgeon that is a bit closer, although this is important enough to not take lightly and I want to find the best surgeon I can.

I still need to discuss in more detail with my ENT. I'm sure he will have recommendations as well. It never hurts to get started on the reserch though.

This is such a great forum. It helps to read about so many success stories.

 
Old 11-14-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

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Originally Posted by mspgh View Post
Thanks Ashton11, are you in Pittsburgh or nearby?

Dr Lippy's name came up early in my research. It looks like he is about 2 hours away from Pittsburgh. Not sure if he would be covered by my health insurance though.

UPMC has some world class facilities right here in town. I was hoping that I could find a surgeon that is a bit closer, although this is important enough to not take lightly and I want to find the best surgeon I can.

I still need to discuss in more detail with my ENT. I'm sure he will have recommendations as well. It never hurts to get started on the reserch though.

This is such a great forum. It helps to read about so many success stories.
I went 450 miles to get mine done there.

 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

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I went 450 miles to get mine done there.
Here are the results of my stapedectomies. I have had a very noticeable improvement in the right ear since the last audiogram and I expect continued improvement. The left ear improved after about 6 weeks in the higher frequencies and it appears the right is doing the same.

------Before---1mo--Before--6mos
_____________________
0250__R-75....30___L-75....25
500___R-75....25___L-75....25
1000__R-75....35___L-85....45
2000__R-65....45___L-75....50
3000__R-70....55___L-90....65
4000__R-95....90___L-110...80
6000__R-100..100__L-110...75
8000__R-100..95___L-95....75

Right Stapedectomy 10/5/2011 & 1 mo after.
Left Stapedectomy 5/4/11 & 6mos after.

 
Old 11-16-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

I made an appointment to see Dr Lippy in Decemeber. I figure if he really is that good then a two drive is not a big deal. it looks like he is in my insurance plan as well.

Those results... is that dB improvement? I'm not sure I understand how to read it. I know the first number is the frequency... Does that you improved from -75dB to 30dB at 250 Hz in the right ear? That seems like a huge improvement. And the numbers in the higher frequencies seem even better.

So Dr Lippy, is he really THAT good?

 
Old 11-16-2011, 02:28 PM   #7
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Yes it is the DB improvement, you are reading it right. That was the results on November 5th, one month after surgery. And as I wrote, my higher frequencies are improving in my right ear. The improvement in the higher frequencies are not as great as the lower frequencies. For example in the right ear after 1 month I went from before surgery -95 to -90 DB and in the left ear after 6 months from -110 to -80 DB and so on. But as I said I am improving nicely in the right ear since the Nov. 5th readings.

Before if you wanted to talk to me without my hearing aids you had to get in front of me and yell. I do pretty good hearing normal talking at distance without aids. I do not use my hearing aids now and have not even gotten them reprogrammed.

Dr. Berenholz did my two surgeries and I'm sure you will have just as good results with Dr. Lippy. It is a great place to go, they are very friendly and helpful. The surgical center is in the same building as the Clinic but seperated. They have the latest equipment and what I like is they are a team that works together.

If you plan to stay overnight I recommend the Holiday Inn Express. It is only 4 or 5 easy minutes away and you can get a special Lippy rate. Good place.

 
Old 11-17-2011, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Wow, that is amazing. Very glad to hear that you are doing so well. My otosclerosis is not very bad yet. Mild to moderate on the right and mild on the left. The fact you had such dramatic improvements makes me pretty optimistic.

So a couple questions if you don't mind... What where the side effects and recovery time like? How long did they tell you to avoid air travel? How long was the waiting list for the procedure (weeks, months)? I presume it was laser surgery if they are on top of the latest technology, is that correct?

Im sure I'll have all my questions answered during my visit, but its hard to wait. Im fairly anxious about the whole thing as Im sure you understand.

 
Old 11-17-2011, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

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Originally Posted by mspgh View Post
Wow, that is amazing. Very glad to hear that you are doing so well. My otosclerosis is not very bad yet. Mild to moderate on the right and mild on the left. The fact you had such dramatic improvements makes me pretty optimistic.

So a couple questions if you don't mind... What where the side effects and recovery time like? How long did they tell you to avoid air travel? How long was the waiting list for the procedure (weeks, months)? I presume it was laser surgery if they are on top of the latest technology, is that correct?

Im sure I'll have all my questions answered during my visit, but its hard to wait. Im fairly anxious about the whole thing as Im sure you understand.
First let me say what I am about to write is my experience only and my understanding on the subject. I am not a professional and take the information as such.

If your otosclerosis is not very bad yet, you may not have the possibility of the large improvements like I did, although that is only a guess on my part. Mine was pretty bad I think.

The first surgery I had vertigo right after surgery and this tapered off the next six days, getting less and less every day. Some dizziness also but not bad. Right after surgery I could hear real good and it lasted into the night but then decreased. I believe this is the result of swelling in the middle ear. Low frequencies were greatly amplified and this continued for several days. On morning day seven I noticed a little dried blood on the cotton but also noticed the higher frequencies were there and much better. Volume and sound clarity continued to improve. I had a clicking sound when I swallowed but it is going away gradually to almost nothing now. I also had a metallic sound when I yawned and still have that but very seldom. I had the taste issue but that is also going away, never bothered me that much. The Doctor said my foot-plate was thick and he had to do a lot of work in my ear. Also I am 72 (today) so I don't heal as fast as I used to.

My second surgery I did not have any vertigo or dizziness. When I was in recovery, I could hear the nurses talking with my right ear (surgery one this time) from across the room but then it went silent. It felt like the ear was blocked. The night after surgery I had more bleeding than I did with the left ear. I felt great though. I had very little hearing out of the right ear, using earphones I estimated it was down about 30-40 DB from my left ear but word recognition was good. I did develop some slight dizziness later when leaning my head back quick but nothing severe. I was not that discouraged as I felt there was no damage to the nerve and I had a lot of confidence that my Doctor had performed the mechanics well. On the 12th day after surgery I was talking to my wife and all of a sudden my ear popped and her voice nearly knocked me down. I had to put my hand up and try to make her be quiet. From then on it just got better and better. The doctor said, and I remembered hearing him call for the Laser during the surgery, that he had to use the laser because my disease was advanced. I still have the clicking and metallic sound in my right ear but expect it will decrease as the left one did.

Some of the advice I would give is to follow the instructions given you. Also I would use two pillows or somehow elevate your head after surgery. I think if I had done this sooner than I did I would not have had some of the problems I had with the first surgery. I believe this decreases the swelling. I continued to do this for 2-3 months after and I also did not sleep on the operated ear for about 2-3 months. I am following this with my right ear. I sleep with the operated ear up. Neither of my surgeries did I have any pain in the ears. Slight soreness in the arm but nothing to complain about.

For flying advice you will need to talk to your Doctor. If you check one of the previous threads here you will see the instructions I received about flying. I am going to try and avoid it for a year after surgery but that is just me.

Last edited by Ashton11; 11-17-2011 at 12:07 PM.

 
Old 11-17-2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

wow, thanks for the details.

I don't expect a dramatic improvement. A 20dB improvement in the worst affected frequencies would probably put my hearing pretty close to normal. I would be happy with 10dB. At the very least I hope a stapedectomy will stop the progression of the condition.

Whats more, and I don't know if this is common with otosclerosis, but there is, at times, some physical discomfort in the ear. In addition I have tinnitus, a "blocked ear" feeling and clicking when I swallow. Most of these symptoms used to sort of come and go. Now its pretty much there all the time, so I am also hoping that a stapectomy could eliminate these problems as they are almost as bad as the hearing loss itself.

I also understand that its possible that I may not even have otosclerosis since the Dr doesn't really know until they open up the ear. I know that the results of the hearing test and the CT scan strongly suggest this diagnosis, so for now I trust it.

One more question then... did they put you under general anesthesia or local?

 
Old 11-17-2011, 09:53 PM   #11
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Hi, was just on these boards searching and saw your post. Do you need an inner ear specialitst? If so, I would suggest Dr. Barry Hirsh at the eye and ear Institute in the Oakland section of Pgh. There are others within his practice who specialize in different areas. Although I did not need him for the same problem you have, I would highly recommend him. The entire practice is UPMC affiliated.

 
Old 11-18-2011, 03:24 AM   #12
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Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

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Originally Posted by mspgh View Post
wow, thanks for the details.

IOne more question then... did they put you under general anesthesia or local?
I don't know what it actually was. Most of the time I would say I was out and a short period of time I was in. I was in for the hearing test at the end of surgery. I would describe both surgeries as a pleasant experience. I was not in any discomfort.

 
Old 11-29-2011, 05:25 AM   #13
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Wink Re: Stapedectomy: Looking for a surgeon in Pittsburgh

Hi! I am from the greater Pittsburgh area. I was diagnosed with otosclerosis about 20 years ago in grad school when I was doing my audiology practicum. I have been looking for years for a good surgeon to do my stapendectomy. I see Dr. Chen @ Pittsburgh Ear Associates...He is affiliated with Alleghany General Hospital. he has alot of experience, professional, with great bedside manner. my surgery is scheduled for the end of January 2012..looking forward to finally hearing! I highly recommend Dr. Chen..I have a friend who had him do her stapendectomy and she was thrilled with the outcome and
her experience with Dr. Chen.
Good Luck!

 
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