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MicShi7 08-10-2013 10:03 AM

stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Hello all. I had a stapedectomy due to ostosclerosis in my left ear on July
25th. I had partially hearing loss in that ear in the lower frequencies, but it wasn't that bad yet even though it was progressing. I have had minor pulsatile tinnitus in that ear for 15 years or so due to an artery near my ear. It had become more bothersome recently as had other internal sounds such at chewing, etc. due to the worsening ostosclerosis. So, I went ahead and had the stapedectomy surgery. I have had quite a difficult time in the post-op stage, primarily due to the severe tinnitus that developed about one week after the surgery. It peaked at about 1.5 weeks after the surgery to an unbearable level and has since decreased somewhat but is still quite loud 2.5 weeks post-op. The packing is due to come out in a few days...August 16th. I'm quite worried that the ringing will continue even after the packing is removed. Has anyone had a similar experience? Did it get better? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.

mspgh 08-12-2013 11:46 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
My tinnitus went away, sort of... actually it switched ears. It moved to whichever ear my "bad ear" was at the time. Now my second ear is fixed and we will see what happens.

Give it more time. I've been through it and I know its the hardest part, but just try to be patient. It seems that everybody recovers from the procedure at a different rate. The best measure of stapedectomy success is a hearing test and it doesn't sound like you have have had one yet. Your ear will continue to heal. There is probably swelling, blood clots and packing in the ear; my guess until you clear all that crap out, tinnitus may continue.

Trucker99 08-13-2013 04:15 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
I also had a stapedectomy in 1984 ,which did not work after the opp I started with tinnitus and have had it in both ears ever since ,not a success story but there you go . I also have frequent dizzy spells causing me to loose my balance and down I go ,in the words of my doctor it`s something I have to live with........Hope your opp turns out ok.

mspgh 08-13-2013 07:58 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
trucker - Couple questions... 1-Did you ever get a second opinion? 2-Was there any improvement in your hearing? 3-How well is the auditory nerve currently functioning (is there still an air-bone gap)? 4-Where are you located?

There have been alot of improvements in the procedure in the last 30 years. I would recommend that you find a surgeon that specializes in stapedectomies, that is if you haven't done so already. if the nerve is still functioning well, its possible that a revision procedure can be performed.

Trucker99 08-13-2013 10:12 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Had the opp in 1984 ,never thought to get second opinion as at the time I had a little bit of hearing in my right ear and 100% good hearing in my left ear .add the opp woke up with loud hissing noise in my ear along with packing ,had the packing removed a week later and found out that what little bit of hearing I had now gone complete deafness , 3 month later another opp .called tympanotomy and no usable hearing at all in right ear ,a few year late started with the same symptoms as right ear but tod surgeon to take a walk regarding further operations ,now wearing a very powerful bte aid which is my lifeline .Both operations carried out at my local hospital in Wigan
Regarding further opps I attended the royal ear ,nose, throat hospital in London several times to find answers as to why the opps had been unsuccessful was informed that my ear had been butchered and it was not possible to undertake any more corrective surgery..... Not a happy ending but that`s motto now live & learn

mspgh 08-13-2013 10:42 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Thats too bad. it sounds like there has been nerve damage, and this is unfortunately irreversible. Sometimes the prosthesis placement can be corrected but that may not be the problem in your case. I dont know how long its been since you looked into it but it never hurts to get another opinion, even years later. Like I said, I believe they have made alot of advancements in these procedures in recent years. It may also be beneficial to find a surgeon that specializes in this type of procedure, compared to a more general ear nose and throat doctor. There still may be some options available to you.

MicShi7 08-15-2013 09:51 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
I'm now 3 week out since my stapedectomy surgery on my left ear and I get the packing taken out of my ear tomorrow. Yay! Things have improved considerably over the last few days with regard to the tinnitus that developed after the surgery. The tinnitus had decreased to very low levels the last 4 days and I began hearing sounds in that ear despite the packing, although the sounds seemed very distant and faint as you might expect. Today, however, the tinnitus has increased back to moderate levels for some reason, which is of course disappointing and troubling. I hope that its return is just a blip on the road to recovery and that it will go away again.

Voxx976 08-15-2013 11:08 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Both ears done. Bad tinnitus continues after years.
I live with it, I have no choice. You learn to live with it.

Hearing is good, but tinnitus ruins the beauty of a Carnegie Hall concert.

MicShi7 08-16-2013 04:32 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Hello. I had the packing removed from my ear today and right away I could tell that things were not as they should be. Sounds were muted and distorted in that ear. Some sounds had kind of an echo or "tinny" type sound to them. Anyway, they did a hearing test. The results showed an improvement in the lower frequencies...which was the problem to begin with. However, I lost some of my hearing in the higher frequencies. In addition, the tinnitus that I developed after the surgery in that ear persists. The doctor said that the tinnitus was being caused by the loss of high frequency hearing in that ear. Now he has put me the steroid prednisone in an attempt to regain or improve the hearing loss at the higher frequencies. Has anyone else gone through this? Did the prednisone work? I'm really worried that this is permanent. My overall hearing in considerably worse now than before the surgery. I think that I made a mistake by having the surgery.

mspgh 08-19-2013 09:04 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Do you know exactly which frequencies were affected? Does the bone conduction test still show good hearing sensitivity in high frequencies? Did you experience any vestibular syptoms like dizziness or vertigo? What does your ENT suspect to be the cause of the high frequency loss? Infection? damage to the nerve during the procedure? Improper placement of the prosthesis?

I know my hearing above 8kHz in my right ear falls off pretty rapidly (had a stapedectomy on that ear about a year and a half ago), but I think this is still considered to be a pretty good result. Some stapedectomy patients also report that it can take a long time for high frequency sensitivity to return. In some case, it can take months.

Also, how much experience does your ENT have with otosclerosis and stapedectomies? If you havent done so already, find an ENT and a surgeon that has alot of experience with the procedure.

MicShi7 08-19-2013 11:23 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Thanks for you reply. I really do not know all of the details at this point. I was in such a state of shock over the outcome from the surgery at the appointment that I wasn't sure what to ask. Anyway, I will be returning on September 6th for another appointment and hearing test to see where things stand. I honestly don't know what to do and find all of this difficult to accept. I find that I'm already falling into state of despair and hopelessness over this. I have also set up another appointment with a different ENT that specializes in the surgery to get a second opinion about where things stand and what if anything can be done if things haven't improved over the next few weeks.

mspgh 08-19-2013 11:57 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
I totally understand the feeling. But don't lose hope until you learn all of the facts. Ask your doctor all of the questions from my post above.

I found comfort in learning as much as possible about the anatomy of the ear, the procedure itself, the possible complications, the symptoms, etc... I felt better in knowing that I had a thorough understanding of what was happening to me and it eased my mind.

Its been posted on this board a number of times, but it bears repeating again for anybody that may have stumbled across this thread, and that is to find an ENT and a surgeon that is experienced with stapedectomy. The more experienced the better. If you can, find somebody that SPECIALIZES in it. Generally, the more experienced surgeons seem to have better success.

Good luck to you.

MicShi7 08-19-2013 01:41 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
How do find the best surgeons for this procedure? The one I used was board certified and one of only two in my area that I'm aware that performs this procedure. I have an appointment with the other in a few weeks to get a second opinion.

mspgh 08-19-2013 02:56 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Its hard to say... where are you located exactly?

I searched the internet, I even posted on this board and asked for reccomendations. You can also ask your current doctor.

I'm in Pittsburgh (USA) so I actually had quite a few options. If you are in a more rural area or a country where there aren't as many healthcare options then your choices may be limited. Insurance may limit your options as well, at least if you are in the US.

I went with the Lippy Group in Warren Ohio, a clinic which specializes in otosclerosis/stapedectomy. They were also recommended by other patients from this board.

If its feasible for you, you may want to consider surgeons that aren't in your town as I did. The surgeons at the Lippy clinic see patients from all over the country. Many people go to great lengths to seek out experienced surgeons for this procedure.

MicShi7 08-19-2013 04:36 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
I'm in New Orleans.

mspgh 08-20-2013 09:25 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
Personally I dont know of any surgeons in New Orleans, however its a big city so I would expect to find several surgeons that can perform stapedectomies. You may also want to expand your search to include areas that are at least within driving distance (and covered under your insurance plan, if necessary).

I would start by searching the archives of this board, or maybe some google searches of "stapedectomy New Orleans" and see what comes up.

Good luck to you!

mspgh 08-20-2013 01:31 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
You may want to start with the Shea Ear Clinic in Memphis. I dont know if thats close enough to New Orleans, but I believe they are very familiar with this procedure. John Shea invented the procedure and performed the first stapedectomy in the 1950s. If that is too far for you, maybe they could recommend somebody closer.

mspgh 08-20-2013 01:42 PM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
I also found an old thread on this board and a user recommeneded a surgeon in New Orleans. Unfortunately I dont think I can post a link to the thread, but if you google "shea stapedectomy healthboards" the thread should come up in the top 5 results.

The user's name is "Sallyndh" and you may still be able to get in touch with that person although its an old thread from 2008. In any case, its a lead.

MicShi7 08-23-2013 02:29 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries
mspgh and others -

Thanks for the information and help. I have an appointment at the Shea Ear Clinic in Memphis next week. I'm doubtful that anyone can provide much help, but I must give it a try. I was stunned by my audiogram after the surgery which indicated mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss in the high frequencies (2000 HZ and above). The hearing loss is profound at 6000 and 8000 HZ. The sound distortion in that ear along with the constant tinnitus is very disturbing. I don't know how much a hearing aid would help. I'm desperate for a solution and relief.

0250.Hz L-15
0500.Hz L-15
1000.Hz L-20
2000.Hz L-25
3000.Hz L-40
4000.Hz L-55
6000.Hz L-105
8000.Hz L-110

mspgh 08-23-2013 07:46 AM

Re: stapedectomy - post-op symptoms and worries

That doesn't sound like great news, however try not to lose hope. You will be in good hands at the Shea Ear Clinic. They are one of the best in the country and if anybody can help you, they can.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck!

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