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Old 02-13-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Failed Stapedectomy

I have been wearing hearing aids for about 7 years now because my first ENT said that a stapedectomy would not be beneficial due to some nerve damage. Finally in late 2011 I decided to visit another ENT which ordered a hearing test. Took the hearing test and the audiologist said he wouldn't even discuss hearing aid options for me because he didn't see any evidence of nerve damage. I was seeing a brightness to my future considering many of my family members have had surgery due to otosclerosis. Went back to the ENT and he said that a stapedectomy would really work for my type of hearing loss. Ok now for the nightmare.

In December 2011 I had my surgery that began at 7 in the morning. At 11am I woke up in recovery with my head spinning so fast I could not move. I was in the recovery room until 6pm that evening. I went home slept through the night to find myself really sick when I woke up. For the first week at home I did nothing but lye in bed because the room would spin. Called the doctors office and they prescribed Diazapan for the dizziness. That never worked nor did the motion sickness tabs. Two weeks later I still had the dizziness but started having other complications. Visited my doctor with post follow up and he said the packing was still there and I had fluid in my ear.Gave me more medications and steroids. Another 2 weeks past and still the dizziness but this time I had facial paralysis of the right lip and eye. I started crying because this wasn't supposed to happen. Again returned to my doctor which diagnosed me with Herpes simplex of the ear. More antibiotics and steroids are given. At this point in time I'm really upset because not only did I have something else go wrong the ringing in my ears was driving me crazy. Unusual sounds like outdoor crickets in my ear and when I held a phone up to my right ear I couldn't hear anything. Returned to the doctor 3 weeks later with sinus infection. Still fluid in my ear and the packing is still there. Granted this is 6 weeks after surgery and my balance is still off. Once again more antibiodics and another round of steroids.

Today, February 13, 2012. Another appointment with ENT. Discuss with him that I still have odd noises in my ear and I can hear fine when I am in the car with someone but when I enter open rooms I can't hear anything. I hear music, bath water etc..but I can't hear speech or hear in that ear when I am on the phone. Now the doctor thinks that when I developed Herpes simplex in the ear that it caused nerve damage and that this is the reason for the hearing loss. I asked about the dizziness, his response well hopefully it will go away in time. I'm lost for words. In time, I can't function as a person with these symptoms. Unfortunately I already was dismissed from my job because I was on probation (new hire) and had no medical leave. Now, I am supposed to go take another hearing test and see about getting fitted for hearing aids again which my insurance doesn't cover. I was an extremely outgoing person before this surgery and now I can't walk straight with out falling into something, people look at me like I am stupid because I can't hear them and I have no clue what to do.

I guess I am wondering if anyone else has had these kind of difficulties after a stapedectomy? Before my surgery I was wearing a hearing aid in my right ear and could hear fine, now when I put the hearing aid in there is nothing but an echo vibrating back into my ear.Actually sounds like the teacher off Charlie Brown sounds funny but that is the only way I know how to describe it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated because i didn't know who to speak with. It is hard to describe to someone what you are hearing when they can't hear it. Should I be getting a second opinion? Should my doctor be doing another surgery? Just lost and really, really, aggervated.

 
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:01 AM   #2
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I still have the dizziness from time to time. The chirping sound of crickets are still in my ear constantly and yes, it does drive you crazy at times. I am scheduled for a hearing exam on the 28th of this month. My right ear which I had surgery on I can't hear anything out of. Sometimes, I get this really big vibration in the ear or echo sound but I can't understand anything that is being said in that ear nor can I hold a phone up and hear. I'm hoping for some good news after the hearing test however, I think there is permanent nerve damage. I am trying to keep a positive outlook but it is hard especially when you know people are talking to you and you can't hear them. Everywhere I go right now I take someone with me that way I know they can translate for me and I don't end up agreeing to something I didn't hear correct

 
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Hi,
I came across your posts through a google search. I have also had a failed Stapedectomy that has changed my life. I had surgery the beginning of October 2011 and thought I would be doing well quickly. I came out of surgery with facial paralysis. Luckily it only lasted about 5 hours and then went away. The next morning I had severe dizziness and nausea. I never did hear anything out of my ear again. I have nerve damage that can not be reversed and have been officially diagnosed with a dead ear. That's bad enough, but I also have dizziness still. That is why I was searching on google. I'm looking for any answers. All doctors and balance therapists say my body should adjust and it should go away but I have not seen much change in the last three months. I can function, but not like I used to. My head has a "full" feeling or a constant uncomfortable fuzziness If I'm still (like watching tv) I feel normal, but as soon as I start to move or turn my head much the feeling is back. My eyes also have to work hard all day to keep the balance under control. This makes them ache and makes me feel quite tired. It has been seven months and I'm still trying to get over this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm wondering if I'm going to have to live with this forever.

 
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I'm sorry your having the same experience I have. My whole life has changed and I'm still not adapting well to it. I have the fullness in the head, my eyes are heavy and I to get extremely tired because you feel as if your running all day trying to keep up with your body. My ENT originally told me at my last visit that there is nothing that can be done about the nerve damage and that the dizziness will go away in time. This was at the end of March 2012. I just went last week to another ENT 50 miles from my home and they redone my hearing test and I told them what had been going on. The new ENT is sending me to a University Hospital to have an inner ear cat scan done. He feels that since the surgery that I have a whole in the fistula which is letting air and fluid into the ear. Since it has been happening for many months now there is no way to fix the nerve damage however to help with balance the new ENT is recommending operating to repair the fistula so I can regain my balance. Keep me posted on your updates and maybe a second opinion might help you as well.

 
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Smile Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Thank you for your replies,

I have another appointment with my doctor at the end of the month so I will definitely ask him about the inner ear ct scan. If anything maybe it can give me some answers and a little piece of mind. It just seems like there has to be a solution to this somewhere out there. I'm still very hopeful that I will be able to get rid of this feeling. It's helpful to know there is someone else out there that knows what I'm talking about and feeling. Please keep me up to date on what they find and if you go through anymore surgery. I'm a little terrified of doing more surgery and making things worse. I'd like to know what your outcome is.

In regards to the hearing aids. I was told I could not have hearing aids. Do you have to wear one in both ears and how helpful are these. Currently, if someone is talking to me on my bad side and there is any background noise, I can not hear what they are saying or at least very little of it. I'm unsure at what point I should see what my options are for hearing aids.

I hope things keep improving for all of us and we can get back into our normal lives.

Last edited by Administrator; 07-03-2012 at 11:20 PM.

 
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I've had a failed stapedectomy as well. I had a moderate loss in my right ear, and since the surgery it is profound. I have extremely bad tinnitus, facial numbness, eye twitches, confusion... especially of speech and terrible headaches. It's just a nightmare, I've had problems with my ears since birth and it's really the icing on the cake.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:37 AM   #7
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soecc HB User
Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Hi everybody,
looks like there are lot of people with my condition. It's been over a year now since my failed stapedectomy, and i regret deeply that i didn't visit this site before the surgery because i wouldn't have done it. After my surgery i met (face to face) 2 other people who had the same result as i so i believe that percentage of failed stapedectomyes is much higher than 1 %. Before the surgery i had 50% hearing in my left ear. I could hear the phone conversation, i didn't have any dizziness and my life was completely normal. My ENT said that the stapedectomy is a good solution because my hearing will be worse eventually. I didn't read much about it and now i know it was a mistake. I wouldn't recomend this surgery to anyone, because the things that might happen are dreadfull. If only i have decided to wear a hearing aid, i wouldn't need it for a few more years (maybe never).
Now i'm left with a dead ear, and the only thing i can do is praying that my right ear stays healthy. I can hear OK if the background noise is not there, but in any other case it's very hard to keep up the conversation. Also it's hard to here voices that are deeper than normal ones.
The dizziness was bad the first 6-8 months, but now it's better. However there are still some heavy periods, especially if weather is bad. I'm able to play football with friends (after the surgery i thought that i will never be able to play again) but it's not the same. My head is heavy when i play and i get tired very fast.
I went to lot of doctors and all of theme said that there is nothing that can be done, but i'm thinking about removing the non-functional prosthesis from my dead ear. My ENT said that this doesn't guarantee that i would feel better after, but i think that it would help.

Many regards from Croatia.

Last edited by Administrator; 07-03-2012 at 11:09 PM.

 
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I don't know how to describe finding this thread...I am trying so hard to deal with my failed stapendectomy 3 months ago and my dead ear. It sounds like all of you have gone through or are going through this. There has been no definite answer as to what went wrong....I think that a granuloma or fistula are most likely. Right after the surgery I thought I could hear so much better but a few days later got so sick with vertigo and vomitting that when I finally started to feel better I realized I could not hear anymore. I still can't figure out if it happened at the moment when I realized I could not hear or when I was sick. I have read almost anything I could get my hands on and really there is no definitive answer. I am doing much better emotionally and the vertigo has finally subsided after 3 months. Still, the tinnitus is so loud at times that it is hard to not get down and my confidence in social situations is now gone. If anyone would like to contact me and let me know if you have found any answers regarding what went wrong or anything you have found that helped out, I would be so grateful. It's nice to know that there are others who truly understand what I am going through.

 
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties but hope you are better now. I also had stapedectomies-3- 1 went well and the 2 surgeries on the right ear have resulted in non-stop tinnitus of an unbelievable volume. It is very difficult to live with this. Seven years of tinnitus and now my audiologist wants to fit me for hearing aids. I wonder why I had the surgeries if I then would need hearing aids. Does anyone else have similar issues? Does the hearing aid help with tinnitus? The doctor suggested hearing aids with a variety of wave noises to choose from. My belief is I will feel like I am at the ocean with my tinnitus still present.

 
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:33 PM   #10
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Hi, I can relate to the tinnitus. What I can't understand is if I've lost all hearing in that ear why is it that the tinnitus is there and SO loud! Some days are better than others (in the morning it seems the best and as the day goes on it gets worse, maybe being tired is part of it) but my good ear has to compete with the tinnitus on the right when I'm listening. I have mild tinnitus in my hearing ear. I used to think it was bad but now in comparison it is nothing. My specialist said they really don't even know what causes the sounds and from my understanding there is nothing that helps. It can be so overwhelming at times I know. I don't know how a hearing aid will help. Won't it be hard to hear over even more noise? I don't really know but you could always try it I suppose. Did you lose all hearing in the right ear?

 
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:38 AM   #11
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Della, thanks for the reply. Sorry to hear of your tinnitus difficulty. It can be alot to deal with. I have not lost hearing in my right ear, I hear great. I saw my doctor yesterday and we uped my dose of prozac. I am not crazy about taking the meds but have to admit that I have to. Are you on any medication to help with any anxiety and depression? Do you exercise? I play racquetball and it helps alot to tire me out and help me sleep. I suggest any kind of physical activity. My newest response to the screeching in my head is just to make myself smile. I make my brain remind me of something wonderful and it gives me a little relief. I will keep trying this simple but so far slightly effective smile method in place. Anything we may do, however, is only to treat the symptoms of tinnitus and not the cause.
I am not a doctor but as I understand your question I will try to answer. The tinnitus is present , even in the non-hearing ear because tinnitus is not in the ear. It is in the brain. In patients who have severed the auditory nerve to cure the tinnitus deafness is certain, while stoppage of the tinnitus is not certain. Patients report the screech to remain.
I hate that you have this problem but do appreciate the fact of having communicated with someone who shares my challenge. There is my reason to smile for today- try it with me?
thanks, tim

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #12
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I was born with Congenital Conductive hearing loss, with about 10-15% hearing in my right ear and about 25-30 in my left. As a result, 30 years later, Dr. Howard Francis at Johns Hopkins of Baltimore, MD performed a stapedectomy last Friday in my right ear, almost a week ago. The procedure went rather well, everyone was so kind and thorough. They do everything by the book there, I had four medical professionals ask me the same questions. The doctor even gave me a high five after the procedure, how awesome is that!

One Week Later:
It's been a rough week, I've been experiencing profound dizziness, throbbing while sleeping, and excessive bleeding/discharge. I was told that the post surgical symptoms, as I had mentioned, were normal. The first several days I felt as though I was talking in a box and any thumping or sudden noises were overwhelmingly loud. It feels like there are plugs in my ears, I'm hopeful that's just the packing. I'm doing my best to take it easy, not an easy thing for me to do, considering I'm used to working out several hours a day five days a week. I'll post an update on my progress next week.

Last edited by hcalton; 08-01-2012 at 03:49 PM.

 
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Hi, I am concerned for you as those sound similar to symptoms I experienced. I would definitely advise that you contact your doctor to let him know. I know my doctor told me "just rest and take it easy" and that the plug in my ear was causing the muffled sound of my voice. Later on the doctor said that the plug should have made no difference. It was about 9 days after the surgery that I realized I could not hear out of that ear. Please go see your doctor if possible. I know that sometimes people take longer to recover and some of those issues you are having such as the dizziness may be normal, but I think at this point it should be resolving. Of course everyone is different and I'm no doctor so please contact your doctor. Take care!

 
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

I have an appointment with my doctor this afternoon. I have a feeling my symptoms are more severe than the norm as a result of the additional work that had to be done. In addition to the Stapedectomy I believe the doctor went into the inner part of my ear to create a passage way. I'll know more this afternoon and post my findings. Thanks for the advise.

 
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #15
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Re: Failed Stapedectomy

Hi there, thanks for your encouraging message. To answer your questions, yes, I am on antidepressants and while they make no difference for the tinnitus I guess they would be making a difference in my outlook. I am bad! Yes, I planned on getting back to working out but after the surgery and the failure I kind of lost motivation there. For the first few months I felt too "off" to work out but now that has resolved pretty much. I have been reading a lot on tinnitus and how it is "in the brain." It was interesting to note that one article suggested that when we hear the tinnitus, focus on it, and get distressed over it, it gets worse. It pretty much said the same thing as you....focus on something else, preferably pleasant so that the brain focuses on something else. Admittedly, this is going to take some getting used to, but I know I can do it!

 
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