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JULIEP28 11-29-2007 07:40 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
CAB1, Thanks for your reply about the dizzies!!! I haven't had an episode since Monday so I'm hoping it was an isolated incident:confused:

Well, sorry my post is so short, I'm at work today and must actually try to get work done :D

Have a great day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAB1 11-29-2007 05:54 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
I'm glad the dizzies stopped for you. How's your hearing? Is it still overly loud or is it calming down a bit yet?

He did hearing test, pressure test and the tuning fork thing. [U]All showed same indicators as pre-op did about it being a stapes issue only. [/U]

The "bone" hearing is still great which means that the stapes (or in my case the prosthesis) isn't functioning properly most of the time. He said that occurs when one moves out of place. I also told him how I could "start" my hearing for a few seconds and then it would stop again (until the last 4 weeks). This normally occurred when blowing my nose, yawning big or sneezing, all of which change the pressure in the ear just enough to move the prosthesis.

If the ear looked abnormal (ear drum either inflated or retracted) that would indicate an ET issue but the ear looks normal. Also, I no longer feel like I have pressure on the ear and that it needs to be "popped". That is another indicator of ET issues. He was looking in my ear for what seemed like forever.

If the tests had shown no "bone" hearing, then it could not be fixed - ever. So basically put its like I never had surgery and I hear a little worse now that before surgery because of the changes made to the stapes to allow for the placement of the prosthesis.

So, process of elimination on ET issues and positive "bone" hearing tests, pressure tests and tuning fork test says its a prosthesis issue.

He also said he has seen this happen before when people get as stopped up as I was within a few weeks after surgery and end up blowing too, hard too soon.

****DON'T BLOW YOUR NOSE***** (I'm talking to myself).

More later,


Alexis27 11-29-2007 08:43 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
2 weeks post op.

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with Otosclerosis this year after 5 years of progressive hearing loss on my right side and constant tinnitus. I felt very blessed when I found out there was something that could actually be done to help my hearing. I had the surgery done 2 weeks ago and wanted to share my experience.

The doctor who performed my surgery was Dr. Roberson from the California Ear Institute. He has performed this surgery for 30 years and did an amazing job. I was given a local anesthetic and was awake during the whole procedure. I have to say it was a bit scary going through that hour, but as soon as he put the prosthetic in I could hear again. It was so amazing I started to cry! I’m not sure my exact hearing loss, but it was enough that I couldn’t talk on the phone on my affected ear.

I left the hospital a few hours later and was fairly dizzy and out of it. I did have some pain and wished I had taken my Vicoden before I left the hospital. I got home and rested for two full days doing nothing but going to the bathroom and watching every episode of Sex and the City. I got the packing taken out just 5 days post surgery, which seems a bit early compared to most on this board. It came out no problem and as soon as it was removed I was shocked with my hearing capacity. The ruffling of paper and the sound of my own voice were totally overwhelming. It felt like I was talking into a microphone with reverb on it for a few days.

I have taken the 3 full weeks off of work and am thankful I did. I seem to only have a few hours of energy a day and then I crash. I’ve been catching up on my reading and learning Spanish. All the things you never have time to do when you are living your busy life….. My advice to everyone is to take as much time as you possibly can afford.

Over the last couple of days I have noticed the opening/closing sensation that some of you have talked about. It’s driving me crazy!! I can control it by breathing out of my nose quickly and it will unplug, but everytime I swallow it plugs back up again. Has anyone else been experiencing this?? If so, how long has it lasted. Like anything I’m getting used to it but I wonder what the cause is. Does it have something to do with the eardrum healing maybe??? It sounds like a static radio when loud noise comes through. Very strange.

Also, I wanted to say that the tinnitus that I’ve had for 5 years definitely got worse right after surgery, but I think this was due to the inflammation. It has gotten better over the last week so don’t panic if this has happened to you. I’m crossing my fingers for complete remission.

One last thing for all the ladies on the board. I was scared to wash my hair for a good week after surgery (8 days actually-gross). I used the old baby powder in my hair and brushed it through trick, it works wonders!! It gets rid of all the grease. When I finally did wash my hair I cupped it with a plastic cup and put the Vasoline covered cotton ball in my ear. Seems to work really well.

Happy recovering to you all. :)

LAXMI60 11-30-2007 06:31 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
I still have a strange feeling in my head, I am one month post op. My hearing is much better than pre op. Tinnitus is worse on some days but much improved on other days. Can any one relate to this?

CAB I doubt if there would be anything like deaf culture in future except when the nerve (aucostic) or brain is damaged since technology is so advanced I would not worry about going deaf.

AF244 11-30-2007 12:31 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
I had my surgery today!

My surgery was at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan (Detroit area). Since I live on the west side of the state, my husband and I stayed at the Westin Southfield last night at a great hosptial rate of $69! What a comfortable bed!

I had to report at 6am for the 7am surgery. The staff was very efficient and had me ready ahead of time. I had a "local" anaesthic, but I was out for the surgery and don't remember a thing. I vaguely remember them wheeling me to the operating room and then I was waking up in recovery. I guess the meds were such that they can bring you out of it quickly, the surgeon can ask you questions, and then they bring you back down. I guess they did this to me, but I don't remember any of it. Dr. Zappia did a great job and told my husband that my stapes was indeed affected and did a classic stapedetomy. He made a small incision behind my ear to get tissue for the grafting. Haven't looked at that yet.

I had no dizziness or pain when in recovery. I just had to go to the bathroom and was very thirsty. They gave me some food (grapes, cheese and crackers...yum!) and I was feelling just fine. They released me by 10am! We had plans to go to my brother's house near Ann Arbor (my husband has a meeting Saturday in Detroit) but I was feeling so good we decided to just go back home. The two hour drive was fine, and we stopped at Panera's to have a salad. I am resting at home, which is so nice, and I'll be in my own bed.

Right now I am just very thirsty. I have cotton in my ear, and at times I hear some crinkling/crackling sounds along with my heartbeat. Nothing bad though. My doctor said that I can take the cotton ball out tomorrow but just to keep the ear dry. I go back to the Michigan Ear Institute next week for my post-op evaluation.

Maybe my meds just haven't worn off yet, but I feel much better than I anticipated. I will take it easy, per the advice of several on this board, and not overdo it.

So far so good!


AF244 12-03-2007 06:35 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
4th day post-op.

My recovery seems to be going well. I have not had any dizzyness at all, which really surprised me after reading others' experiences. My doctor said that I could remove my cotton ball in my ear and dressing on the incision behind my ear after 24 hours, and I did. I must still have some of that gel packing inside my ear because it still feels full. I can see my two stitches behind my ear and that incision looks fine. I've had some drainage from the ear canal, just a drop or so of bloody fluid once and a while. I'm taking antibiotics and was given tylenol with codeine as needed. I've taken the tyenol/codeine each night and only a couple of times during the day, when I've felt a headache or a little pain coming on. Yesterday I woke up feeling great after an eleven hour sleep. I spent part of the morning just doing regular stuff, making breakfast, straightening up, etc. Then my son put the tv on pretty loud, and my husband started vacuuming. Even though my operated ear is totally plugged, I couldn't stand the noise, and retreated into my room, took some meds and fell asleep! Maybe it was sensory overload or something. I am just finding that too much noise really bothers me. I'm afraid of what it will be like when the packing is gone finally! I have an appointment back at my doctor's in Detroit on Friday. I haven't driven yet, but I think I could just fine. It's nice to have my family back at school/work today so I can have the house to myself in quiet! I'm not sure what I am going to do about my son's first freshman basketball game tomorrow. I'm debating wearing some ear plugs and toughing it out. I'll see how today and tomorrow go...

AF244 12-03-2007 10:07 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
One more thing to add....My taste sensation has definately been affected. Salty things taste very strange to me, and at times my tongue feels numb. It's a very weird sensation, and one that I hope will go away soon. It's strange to move food around in my mouth and have it taste different depending on where it touches my tongue. How long will this last?

CAB1 12-04-2007 08:42 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi all,

Hang in there. The strange taste issue lasted about 3 months for me each time but it doesn't stay as strong as it is at first.

The overly loud will calm down at around the 4 week mark too.

Let us know how you deal with the noise at the game if you go.

Update on me...
I'm just waiting for Dec. 18th...very impatiently I might add.

More later,


Pressed26 12-04-2007 12:39 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hey, guys! It took me a while to find you all with the closed thread.

I am officially counting down the days. My surgery is scheduled for Thursday, December 13th. I am really starting to anticipate the changes to my world. I have been really focused on listening -- what can I hear, what can I not hear -- to try to be able to remember what it was like before the surgery. It may sound strange, but I think it will help me be appreciative of any progress.

I am planning to take two days off from work -- Thursday and Friday. And based on what I see on some other threads, I am going to arrange some rides for the week I come back.

I'll post again after the surgery.


Alexis27 12-05-2007 01:58 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hey there,

I posted a few days my full story and wanted to give an update.
I"m on day 20 post op. I had written the other day with my concern about the opening and closing feeling in my ear and how it was popping in and out of hearing fine and then sounding like a distorted speaker. I'm happy to report that it has completely subsided.
It began happening when I started having a really bad allergy attack. Because I couldn't blow my nose, I sniffed it all into my head and it ended up plugging my eustachian tubes. The symptoms I was feeling were symptoms of Eustachian tube disfunction. After a few days of keeping up on my allergy medicine the symptoms went away.
I know this has been said on this board a few times but i"m going to say it again. If you have any sort of sinus issues....keep them under control while your ear is healing.
Besides that I feel great. My energy is back and I get to work out tomorrow. Yippee!!
Take care and be well.

AF244 12-05-2007 05:54 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi Again-

I am on day 6 post op. Well, I braved the elements and went to my son's basketball game yesterday! My ear is still plugged up, but occasionally loud noises bother me, so I decided to bring ear plugs with me to the game. I'm glad I did, because it was nice to put them in (and a fleece headband as well!) when the gym got too loud. For most of the game, I was fine, but towards the end, when the score was close and the dads around me got yelling, I had to move over to a part of the bleachers that wasn't quite so loud and put my hands to my ears. Luckily, this was the freshman game and there were large stretches of bleachers empty! It seemed that certain low frequencies of voices caused that "reverb" sensation in my ear and it drove me nuts! All in all, it wasn't too bad. I think it will be worse when the gel packing is removed from my ear canal and the sound is free and clear to get to my new stapes. Once home after the game, I was pretty tired and the rushing sound of my heartbeat in my ears was the loudest it's been since my surgery. Not sure if it was related to the game or not. I hadn't taken any pain meds all day and decided to take some just before bed to see if it would help the rushing sound and to help me feel better. It did and I slept very well. (They lost the game, by the way...:()

Now I'm looking forward to my doctors appointment at the Michigan Ear Insititute on Friday. I have to drive two hours to get there and we are supposed to get a bunch more snow that morning, on top of the three inches we got today. Hoping it won't be an issue. I'm anxious to see if my new ear is working or not!

Alexis, glad to hear the popping went away! I'll try to keep on top of my own sinus issues. So far so good.

Pressed26 and Carol- Good luck on your upcoming surgeries. It's tough having to wait around, I know. It'll be here before you know it.

AF244 12-08-2007 07:00 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
It's been a week and a day since my surgery. I went for my post-op appointment at the Michigan Ear Institute yesterday and all went well. (Drove myself the two hours there and back again, so really feeling great.) My doctor said all looks good, and he removed the gel packing in my ear canal with a little vacuum. It was loud! He said there was still packing behind the ear drum that will dissolve/drain on its own over the next few weeks. I am still to keep water out of the ear and not exercise or lift over 7-10 pound for another two weeks. After that, I am free to do all that. I don't have to go back to see him until February, when they will do another hearing test to guage my improvement.

Walking out of the office, I could already sense a change without the packing. Sounds were louder and more sharp. At my son's basketball game last night, I could handle all the noise just fine, with the exception of when the band played during the varsity game. Then, I just plugged my ear and it was fine. I just noticed some of that "reverb" occasionally, but overall, it was better than it was at the game on Tuesday.

All in all, I am very excited! I think it will be interesting to see how it feels as this middle ear dries up and I start to hear more and more! I really feel fine, only one week after surgery. I've been very lucky to not have any adverse symptoms or problems. Hope this will continue!

Oh, I asked my doctor what my implant was made out of. Mine is an alloy of surgical stainless steel and platinum. I guess it is not magnetic, so will not affect any MRI I might need to have or set off any metal detectors.

I feel I have a little sinus drainage, so I took some Claratin and Sudafed PE this morning. Carol's advice on staying on top of the sinus issues I am taking to heart. I figured it wouldn't hurt drying up my middle ear as well and maybe progress my hearing improvement a little faster.


Alexis27 12-11-2007 11:05 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Day 25 Post op

Well, the distortion is back, but without the opening and closing. My allergies are under control so I know that isn't the issue. I think I still must have fluid in my ear, it feels plugged and I can sense something there when I lie down. Patience!!! I know I have a long road to go but I just feel like my body is ready for this to be healed and my ear isn't following suit.

I had a bit of a panic attack the other day thinking that the distortion will never go away....but after going back and reading these posts over and over I realize that it's definitely a common thing. So I"m just avoiding loud noise as much as possible and relaxing.

Other than the distortion I haven't noticed much else. Maybe a bit of tension in the side of my face. I think I'm sort of holding stiff to protect the ear from anything. Also there has been some congestion and some sinus drainage. A bit of dizziness too. But.......I can hear out of the ear, which is amazing every day. I just have to remember the end result is going to be so worth it!

I go a week from today for my first hearing test and I guess the doctor is going to look me over and tell me if I can start getting water in the ear. I've been advised against wearing earplugs until I see the doc. I've been doing light exercising but nothing too crazy. Better safe than sorry. Also, the nurse said that very LIGHT blowing of my nose is ok. I"m not sure about flying but I"ll keep you posted as to what he says.

Take care everyone,


LAXMI60 12-12-2007 07:06 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
43 day post op
Hearing improved to almost 90%. Hearing distortion improving. Improved tinnitus. Still minimal unsteadiness, much better than 15 days ago. No ear fullness. Since I do not have ENT appointment till another 10 days, keeping ear dry. Except exercise I am back to normal. Never had opening and closing.

JULIEP28 12-12-2007 07:15 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted. I'm coming up on the 2 month mark since surgery (surgery was Oct. 19th). I do hear better, but I do not go for a hearing test until February. My tinnitus is not better and that has me totally bummed out!!! :mad:

Anyone out there have no improvement in the ringing or is it normal at almost 8 weeks post op to still have the ringing??? :confused: I can hear MUCH better so I thought for sure the ringing would lessen or go away.

I would love to hear anyone's experience with this. Thanks!!

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