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AF244 11-26-2007 11:35 AM

My Stapedectomy report
Hi -
Thanks to the healthboards for offering this forum, and thanks to all of you for posting your experiences.

I have my stapedectomy scheduled for this Friday, 11/30 in Detroit, and I've spent the last hour reading all of the posts on this thread. It has really helped me know what to expect. I am 44, female, with significant hearing loss on one side. I am an otherwise very healthy person.

I do have a few questions:

I will be having local anaesthesia. It seems most of you have used general. Will my time at the hospital be less since I am using local? My surgery is scheduled for 7am (report at 6am). What time can I expect to be released?

How soon will I be able to drive?

My son made the freshman basketball team! How soon will I be able to handle the loud gym at his games?

I am a distance runner. When can I expect to run again?

Thanks for your help. I'm sure I'll be having more specific post-op questions later, but these general things are what's on my mind right now.

CAB1 11-26-2007 05:06 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi AF...Good Luck to you.

No one can give you solid answers to your questions but i'll tell you when I did these things:
Local - I had general so I can't answer as to how long before you go home. I went the same day so I would assume you would too.

Driving - I drove on day 8. I was ok.

Basketball games - I went after 2 weeks and it was extremely loud. The 3rd week, I put cotton in my ear and put on one of those ear warmers over it to muffle the noise. That worked well.

Running/Exercise - Doc told me not until at least week 4 or 5, but I did it at week 2 because I felt fine. Depends on the person I suppose.

Update from the doc today....

****Prosthesis slipped. (right ear)****
Revision stapedectomy will be done on Dec. 18th.
With me blowing my nose for 4 solid months...I knocked it loose. the sinus issues people. Keep sinus/allergy issues under control if at all possible.

My Left ear is fine, I was 6.5 months post op when I got clogged up. I was only 1.5 months post op with right ear and blew gently for the first few weeks. About 2.5 months post op, I started blowing as normal but evidently it was still too soon.

Doc said I could hear at times after I blew my nose because prosthesis had shifted back in place briefly while blowing and that's why the ability to hear came and went, aka "opened and closed".

So.....I get to go through all of this again.



Annie109 11-26-2007 05:48 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi, all.

I am 15 days post op.

Carol, I'm sorry to hear about you having to do this a third time, but at least you know what to expect and that is half the battle. Best wishes on your next one! Do you get a discount on the "third" ear? :confused:

AF, I had general anesthesia, but left the hospital four hours after my surgery was complete - not exactly a long recovery. They would have let me go at the two hour mark, but I was not feeling ready to leave and asked to stay for a short nap. I was back at work on Day 4, and drove myself to and from work. You'll have to see how you feel, as it seems everyone has different time frames for resolving the dizziness issues. Good luck with your surgery!


LAXMI60 11-26-2007 07:04 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Some surgeons will give you 90% success rate for revision stapedectomy.Make sure the most experienced surgeon does it. When I went to my ENT for stapedectomy, he gave me 99% success rate. He did say his charts were evaluated over past 5 years by others without any bias. He did total stapedectomy since is most experienced in that, I looked up literature does not matter if it is stapedotomy or stapedectomy it depends on the experience of the surgeon.

CAB1 11-26-2007 07:17 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report

Thanks for the information. My doc said "I CAN fix it" so he's very confident. I just did tons of reading up on it and the average I found was around 78%.

I agree that it depends on the surgeon. I asked him if he was going to do a revision or a full. He said he would decide when he got in there and would do what was needed to fix me up.

Thanks again, I do feel better knowing the average I found was wrong. :):)


JULIEP28 11-26-2007 08:58 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Carol, I, too, am sorry to hear about your ear. I hope all goes well.

A weird thing happened to me tonight. My operation was 10/19 and it's been over a month. My restrictions were lifted at my one month post-op visit. Aside from tinnitus, I am hearing much better. But tonight for the first time since the few days after surgery, I was out shopping and kept getting bouts of dizziness if I turned my head too quick or looked down then up quickly.

Did anyone experience dizziness after weeks of feeling great??!?!!? :(

CAB1 11-26-2007 10:07 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hey Moderator2...



Juliep..yes I did have dizzies after a few weeks of feeling fine. Hang in there, it will go away again soon. I found that if I did too much during the day the dizzies returned. Take it a little slower, that should help.

Annie..I did have a couple of times when sounds were overwhelming. Everyone said it was a panic attack. Once was at the mall and once at my kids school (boy was that one embarrassing). Both times I could hear everything and it was cool, then it got louder and louder then WHAM...I couldn't leave the area fast enough and get to my car where it was quiet.

The brain has to learn again how to process sounds, meaning which ones to keep and which ones to discard, etc. Ease in to noisy type situations is what the doc told me.

Did you have hearing aids before surgery? If so, remember the first time you went to a noisy place with them in? Its the same thing only before you could turn it down or OFF when sounds drove you nuts.

The great thing is now you can hear, the bad thing is you no longer have an on/off button.

Hang in there you will get used to the "noise" quickly.

More Later,


AF244 11-27-2007 05:56 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Carol- Thanks for your reply. I've learned so much from your experiences and others here on this board. I can't believe my surgery is on Friday....It doesn't seem real that it is going to happen. I'm dealing with the logistics of everything right now...hotel (It's two hours away and a six am report!), kids schedules, etc.

Sorry to hear about your need for a revision. Hope that this time the prosthesis will stay in place. I am a bit concerned about this, especially with my recovery during the winter months in cold and flu season. Plus, I have had a low-level sinus issue all fall (allergies?) with my nose clear, but a sense of fluid in my sinuses at times. I've taken Claritin and/or Sudafed at times that seems to clear it up, but I'm concerned that this fluid will complicate things with my surgery and recovery. I am debating whether I should take some this week to ensure that my sinuses are dry when I go in on Friday.

Any advice is welcome as I get ready for "the big day".

Thanks again!


CAB1 11-27-2007 08:23 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report

My pre-op instructions were to stop taking any medications except basically ibuprofin 5 days prior to surgery...Please consult with your doctor asap since your surgery is in 4 days before you take anything.

Also ask your doctor when you can begin taking then after surgery. I would certainly start taking them as soon as doc says you can just to be safe and keep those sinus' clear.

More later,


CAB1 11-27-2007 08:27 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
...and thanks to everyone for you concern and well wishes about me having my right ear re-done.

At least now, I'm an old pro at this and should be able to deal with all the post-op stuff better than the first couple of times :)

And nope, I don't get a 3rd ear discount. This one will cost me about $600 since my deductible is met and maximum out of pocket for the year is almost reached.

More later,


AF244 11-27-2007 11:05 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
I was given a long list of medications that I had to keep away from for 21 days prior to surgery. These were all containing asprin, ibuprofin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). These drugs interfere with normal blood clotting. For pain I can take tylenol.

I've taken some sudafed-PE in the last couple of weeks. My husband, who is a physician, didn't think that would be a problem. I hope he didn't steer me wrong!

I'm supposed to get a call today or tomorrow to do my presurgical history. I'll be sure to ask about this then.

AF244 11-27-2007 02:40 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
I'm OK...I was told that as long as there was no asprin or NSAIDs in it, it is OK for me to take the medicine. Whew!

Vickie63 11-27-2007 06:34 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report

I was given some advise before my surgery by someone that posted on this thread and I think that is what contributed to my getting better so fast. He told me that the doc told him not to lay on operated ear for 2 days and he didn't do it for 5 days and he slept as much as possible.

My doc kept me in the hospital overnight. I couldn't get out of bed and when I went home my husband wouldn't let me get out of bed. I slept a lot for the next 2 days and by day 5 post op I was almost 100%... Still a little dizzy... The worst thing that happened was I got very nauses the day after surgery. I think I just tried to do everything to fast.. I paid for it the rest of the day by throughing up everytime I got out of bed.... next day I was fine. I understand not everyone has someone like my husband to wait on them hand and foot and my kids are grown and gone but just get all the rest you can.

Hope all goes well for you. I will be waiting to hear from you after your surgery.

Carol- When did you say your surgery was? Is the same doc doing it that did the other ear? I will be keeping you in my thoughts I know it will all work out.... and I wanted to thank you for all your posts they really helped me to make a decision to get the stapedectomy done and now I am looking forward to doing the other ear.

talk to you all later


CAB1 11-27-2007 08:03 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
Hi all,

AF -I'm glad they said you could take the sinus meds. I can't stress how important it is to keep on top of sinus issues for the full 3 months after surgery.

Vickie - Yes, same doc is doing the surgery on December 18th. And you are very welcome. I've seen a lot of people posting on here that were like me...scared but excited at the same time and anxious about the outcome. Patience is not easy when something as important and life altering as your hearing is involved. I'm glad it help you and so many others, thats why I still post.

I am going to ramble for a minute, bear with me....or just jump to the next post if you don't want to read this.

When I quit posting for a few weeks it was because my ear had gone downhill and everything we tried didn't help so I was in an extremly negative frame of mind. I still read everyones posts each day.. but...well it was best that I said nothing. It had felt so good to be in the 99% of successful surgeries, then the drop to the 1% failure bracket almost drove me nuts since I was able to hear so well for those couple of months.

Everyone - I just want to point out that my both of my surgeries were successful. It was the major sinus issues which caused me to blow and blow my nose just to be able to function.....that knocked the prosthesis out of place [B]because I didn't wait the full 3 months before blowing hard[/B]. It was unavoidable because I seriously couldn't breath, sleep, eat, etc.

I completely trust my doc and the abilities that God gave him. If it's meant to be for me to hear then great. If God has other plans for me then I will accept it and move on. Oddly enough, one thing I always wanted to learn was sign language. I have known how to sign the alphabet since I was about 10 and over the years learned how to sign a few words, phrases, etc. I found a book on signing just this past Saturday in my moms garage (of all places) that had been there for 20 years. I can't tell you how many times I have walked right by it and never noticed it. It was like it almost jumped off the shelf into my hands. I had to pick it up and start reading. It made me eager to learn and I have had my nose buried in it since and have been practicing. I leave the book on the kitchen counter at night and every day when I get home from work one of my kids has moved it..?..?..?

Who knows? Maybe I have been in both the hearing and non hearing world for a reason. I am able to truly understand how hard of hearing and deaf people feel and would make a good teacher if I mastered signing..for children maybe? All I know is that something lead me to that book on Saturday - the same day I was at my all time low -mentally- about loosing the hearing again in the right ear. Reading it really cheered me up. Hmm, I dunno.....:angel:

While I was typing this post and no, I'm not kidding, my youngest (11) just said, "hey!" Bless her lil heart, she had been sneaking the book after school and has learned how to sign the alphabet. Then she said "I will be able to still talk to you if it doesn't work!" Yes...I teared up.

My left ear is still working like a champ and I can hear so signing is not a must but I have this overwhelming feeling that I am supposed to learn signing....for some reason.

Ok, I'm done rambling, I think.

More later,


LAXMI60 11-28-2007 08:22 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
You still have good chance of recovering your hearing. How did your doctor determine if the prosthesis is displaced. Did he do a CAT scan?

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!


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