My Ear Right After Surgery

I had a stapedectomy on January 9, 2008. Here is the story of my diagnosis, surgery with fortunately no complications, and the major hearing improvement.

So far I think the hearing is very good with some tinnitus in the operated ear. But I am very curious if I am slowly developing any otosclerosis in the other ear.

I finally had a follow-up hearing test in August 2014 scroll down or click here to see it. I sent the results to the doctor, and he is pleased that the results are holding out well.

The background information that I previously posted is here:

If you want to see a diagram and detailed description of the middle ear go to this Wikipedia page.

Disclaimer: The information I am giving here should not be interpreted as medical advice. I am not a doctor. The story below is just my experience told for anyone interested.

In 2005 I discovered I had a hearing problem. I was listening to music through headphones, and it seemed to me that one side was not working right: the sound was too quiet in one ear. So I swapped the right and left headphones and determined that one of my ears was not working as well as the other. Then I went to see an Otolaryngologist (ENT – ear, nose, and throat specialist) who diagnosed otosclerosis of the right ear.


The doctor told me that otosclerosis is a progressive disease and the only proven, effective treatment is surgery. In late 2007 I decided to get the surgery done. At the time I was living in Kuwait; having the surgery done locally was not an option. On top of that, my medical insurance did not cover the surgery as it is deemed the otosclerosis to be a pre-existing condition.

I found out after the surgery that my insurance covers pre-existing conditions, but not for non-emergency treatments in the United States. I assumed I was going to be paying for the surgery.

Having to cover the cost of the surgery myself was both good and bad. It was my money getting spent, but I had the freedom to choose where in the world I could go for the surgery. My research into the procedure showed that the successful outcome of stapedectomy surgery is mostly dependent on the number of previous operations the surgeon has performed.

I checked out whatever I could find online, plus I contacted the surgeon in Canada who made the original diagnosis. The surgeon was not able to accommodate me probably because as a non-resident of Canada I had no Government medical insurance coverage in Canada.

I also looked into various medical tourism places in India and Thailand and determined that they do not do stapedectomies. They do other procedures such as hips, knees, and hearts. I did get one response from a surgeon in Chennai, India who said he would do it for less than $2000, but I was not comfortable with trying this option. I also checked out one place in Europe but got no response.

I approached the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, California and they were very responsive. I sent them copies of my hearing exams, and they confirmed the need for a stapedectomy. Dr. Jose Fayad phoned me from LA while I was in Kuwait, to discuss the operation. He said if I had to fly home immediately after the surgery, I could, even the next day and have follow-up elsewhere. I was not keen on this. I planned to stay for three weeks after the surgery for any follow-up.

I was an avid SCUBA diver, and Dr. Fayad had good news: he said I could SCUBA dive after successful surgery as long as I practiced proper equalization techniques. Note: Please check with your doctor before deciding to SCUBA dive. I take no responsibility for your results. Do note that even flying after a stapedectomy can put a strain on the ear if you are overly congested and can’t equalize on the descent.

The clinic was quite flexible about the dates for the surgery which was good because I had to juggle many commitments to make time for the surgery. Finally, my operation was booked for January 9, 2008.

The House Clinic does the operation under local anesthesia. It is also done elsewhere, depending on the surgeon and local surgical practices, under a general anesthetic.

Dr. Fayad said a major disadvantage of the general anesthetic is that an airway tube is inserted into the throat to ensure the patient can breathe. After the surgery removing this tube often causes coughing which stresses the ear. Coughing should be avoided after a stapedectomy. Also, an advantage of the local anesthetic is that the surgeon can check the placement of the prosthesis during surgery by asking the patient if they can hear. Obviously this can’t be done if you are under general anesthesia.

As of March 2015, Dr. Fayad is no longer at the House Ear Clinic. I checked directly with the clinic, and they do not have any contact information for him.

View House Ear Institute in a larger map

The total cost which included the surgeon’s fee and the hospital cost was about $9000 US. Fortunately, I had friends in the area that I could stay with, so I didn’t have hotel costs. The only other costs were car rental and the flights to and from Los Angeles.

I was Emailed forms to fill out before arriving at the clinic. They also sent me a list of potential side effects which they are obliged to inform the patients about. They assured me that the side effects are rare.

  1. Taste disturbance and mouth dryness are not uncommon for a few weeks following surgery in some cases prolonged.
  2. There may be further loss of hearing in up to 2% of cases. Up to 1% may have severe loss and may prevent the use of an aid in the operated ear. Should the hearing be worse following stapedectomy tinnitus may be pronounced.
  3. A perforation in the eardrum develops in less than 1% of cases and is usually is due to an infection and may heal spontaneously. If healing does not occur surgical repair may be required.
  4. A very rare complication of stapedectomy is temporary weakness of the face. This may occur as the result of an abnormality or swelling of the facial nerve.

Upon arrival in Los Angeles, I went to the House Clinic for my pre-surgery appointment. There I reviewed the paperwork, had a hearing test and met Dr. Fayad. They advised the following post-operative instructions.

  1. Do not blow your nose and do not pop your ears by holding your nose. If it is necessary to sneeze do so with the mouth open.
  2. Do not allow water to enter the ear until advised by the doctor. They recommend lambs wool or cotton placed in the outer ear opening covered with Vaseline. I purchased some silicone earplugs which I used instead (disclaimer, take you own chances, if they leak it isn’t my fault). They are putty-like, and you can mold them into the outer ear without inserting them into the ear. They worked with no leaks, though I have short hair and washed my hair very carefully trying to get minimal water on my ear.
  3. Do not take any unnecessary chance of catching a cold. Avoid undue exposure or fatigue. I feel this should not be overlooked. I felt very good after the surgery and probably overdid it a little the day after, as I did some driving around doing some shopping and felt quite fatigued by the end of the day. I think a full day or two of quiet rest would have been better to speed the recovery.
  4. Do not have dental work requiring drilling of the teeth until three weeks after surgery.
  5. You may anticipate pulsation, popping, clicking and a feeling of fullness or occasional sharp shooting pains. You may feel as if there is liquid is in the ear. I had some of this, but it was not too annoying, and there was no pain.
  6. Do not plan to drive a car home from the hospital. In fact, they won’t let you drive home. Somebody has to get you. And they will not let you take a taxi alone.
  7. Patients often experience dizziness, with nausea and vomiting. Some unsteadiness is common during the first few days but should subside in a week. There may be brief dizziness on sudden head motion or in bending. I had none.
  8. You may notice some hearing gain at the time of surgery, but in the next few hours, normal post-operative swelling will reduce your hearing. Exactly what I experienced.
  9. The maximum improvement in hearing occurs at four months. I did not feel any change at four months. My hearing one month after the surgery was good and has stayed the same.
  10. The cotton ball in the ear canal should be changed daily and as needed when bleeding occurs. Some bleeding is normal. If the ball has to be changed more than four times in a day, you should notify the doctor. I had no bleeding.
  11. Slight water discharge is normal for a week after surgery. If discharge lasts longer or is yellow (infected) contact the doctor. I had none.
  12. There may occasionally be shooting pain. You should not have continual pain. There was no pain.
  13. Four days before the three-week post-operative appointment put a few drops of baby oil in the ear canal twice daily to soften any encrustation. Allow oil to remain five minutes. I didn’t do this. And I should have. Read on.

I went to the clinic the day before the pre-surgery appointment. The photograph below is the hospital across the street from the clinic.

St. Vincent Medical Center

Dr. Fayad explained the procedure. He said there is just one time during the procedure when he is drilling through the footplate of the stapes (oval window) into the inner ear when I absolutely should not move. The doctor said he would tell me before he starts drilling. He also said it would be very loud when he does the drilling.

I received my final pre-surgical advice, nothing to eat or drink after midnight. So the next morning I started the day very early because I was supposed to be at the hospital by 6:00 a.m.

I took a wrong turn on the freeway on the way to the hospital but managed to find my way without a GPS. I arrived early at the hospital and parked. I feared there would incur massive parking charges because I could not find any street parking. Then later I found out that with a paper from the nurse the parking would be free.

So the time had come.

They asked me to take off all clothes and jewelry (better leave it at home) and put on a hospital gown. I laid down and rested while they started an IV. The nurse couldn’t find any veins in my elbow, so I got the IV in the top of my hand which isn’t the most comfortable spot. But it was well done, and I had only mild discomfort. In fact, it turned out to be the only real, but minor, discomfort during the whole procedure. They said the IV was to keep me hydrated and was also used later for the sedative. They took a small vial of blood from which they used a drop to seal off the piston of the prosthesis where it goes through the oval window into the inner ear.

I was wheeled upstairs into the pre-operative room and got some Versed (I think about 1 mg) which is a like super Valium and commonly used for sedation. I felt very focused and not nervous though I’m not the nervous type. Who knows how much of this cool composure was due to the drug? Speaking of cool, I did notice that the operating room was cold and the nurse told me it is kept cold to keep the germs down. But they do have blankets if you need them.

As I was being prepared for the operation, they made a sort of tent over my head so I couldn’t see up. Then they washed my ear out with a cool feeling disinfectant and suctioned it out.

Then Dr. Fayad came and said it was time for the local anesthetic. This was a needle into my outer ear area, but I barely felt it. So the Versed might be magic, or I’ve got a high pain tolerance. (And generally when I am ready for something I can keep good focus and not be too bothered by pain) I’ve had a fair bit of dentistry, and some of the dental needles are rather unpleasent! Particularly for the root surgeries I’ve had on my top front teeth, which feel like the needle is going up through the gum all the way up into my nose. But I digress …

Then the surgery started. First, the eardrum was cut and moved away. Then he took some time in the ear to remove the stapes. It seemed to take longer than I expected, but there are tendons and nerves in there to be careful about! I heard the odd loud crunching sound as he was working to remove the stapes from the footplate.

Before drilling the footplate, the doctor asked me to hold steady. He did the drilling again warning me that it could be a bit loud. This also turned out to be not too bad. Then he put in the prosthesis. It is put into the hole drilled through the footplate which is situated over the oval window and projects into the inner ear. They used the LASER to heat shrink the other end of the prosthesis onto the incus. Then Dr. Fayad whispered in my ear and asked if I could hear him, and I certainly could: loud and clear!

After the operation, I stayed in a private hospital room and took a short nap. Then I watched some mediocre daytime TV while waiting for my friend to arrive to drive me to their home. I left the hospital around 11:30 a.m.

Smart Stapes Piston

The implant is made by Olympus.


Note that the piston is nitinol. Different surgeons will use different pistons. The clamping of the piston is a very important step in the surgery and has a major effect on the final results. The nitinol part of this piston is for how it clamps to the incus. There are some studies showing that this clamping method has better outcomes.

They let me take home the stapes. Note the ruler marks are 1 mm apart.

Stapes Bone

I did not experience any dizziness, and there was no post-operative pain. I was given a subscription for Darvocet-N I took one the night after anticipating that the pain would build, but it didn’t.

For the first week, there was very little hearing. The packing fell out about four days after the operation. There was a bit of cracking in the hearing during this time also. Then about one week after the operation my hearing improved drastically, and I went for follow up two weeks after. The usual follow-up time is after three weeks, but I could not take more time out of Kuwait.


The above photo is from a strenuous 3.5-hour hike I did ten days after the surgery.

When I was going in for the hearing test they first looked into the ear and saw that there was dried blood and gunk covering my ear drum. I had not followed the instructions about putting baby oil in my ear. So I waited for the doctor who put drops in and then removed the gunk so I could go back for the hearing test. Now the ear was working, and the hearing was even better!


The yellow area shows the main areas where I gained in hearing after the surgery. The operation was very successful!

Now I have two functioning ears again. I can have greater enjoyment listening to music, use the phone on either ear, no longer miss parts of conversations and can enjoy watching TV with my family without deafening them. I am also reminded of how good the surgery was whenever I have a shower and hear the loud gurgling of the water splashing near my fixed ear.

So now I should go annually for a hearing exam and send the results to the House Clinic for their records, but I look forward to continued good hearing with no problems for many years.

I did not get annual hearing tests done as I was living overseas and was not confident in the accuracy and calibration of the testing equipment at the local clinics. I ordered a hearing test CD which is quite good and played with it a bit, but it isn’t accurate enough to compare to professionally done hearing tests. I’ve also tried out some Apple iOS applications that do hearing tests. The CD and apps aren’t bad for finding the thresholds and relative frequency sensitivities, but there is a large error margin. The output of each electronic device varies in volume over the range of hearing frequencies. And, more significantly, headphones vary widely on their output levels at different frequencies. Plus, they can vary on how they fit on your head or in your ears. So you can’t accurately know the dB difference in your hearing at different frequencies.

Now I am back residing in Canada and had a hearing test in August 2014 as shown below.

Audiogram 2014

The red line is the left (good) ear. I thought I might have some loss but if you look the right ear is very similar to the post-surgery one with still loss around 1000 Hz.

I still have more tinnitus in the right ear and may in the future look into the latest treatments. Here is a good TEDx talk on the latest knowledge of tinnitus.

And note regarding SCUBA diving. As I’m back in Canada and don’t live near the warm seas, I have decided to not SCUBA dive anymore. There are so many other things to do, and it isn’t worth risking my hearing.

If there are any queries or corrections to this article, please comment.


208 responses to “Stapedectomy”

  1. Thanks for the good news!

  2. Anelda

    I had a Stapedectomy on my right ear. Surgery was done by a Dr. in South-Africa on 31/04/2015. It was a huge success!!! I am so grateful and can now hear perfectly loud and clear in my right ear. 🙂 It is so amazing and it is just wonderful to hear again. Immediately after the operation, I could hear loud and clear, even with the sponge packing and cotton still in my ear. I feel so blessed!!! I want to go for my left ear on a later stage.

  3. I think you’re taking a good approach. The wisdom teeth can impact the hearing as they are crammed in at the back of the jaw very close to the Temporomandibular Joint. If you look at an anatomical diagram of the head you will see how the jaw joint is very close to the ear along with other muscles and can physically affect the hearing. I have a bit of clicky jaw myself most likely due to orthodontistry as a child. I’ve always had some tinnitus and used to wear a splint provided by my dentist to align the jaw at night. I think it helped as I feel a bit more tinnitus lately but after seeing the following videos I decided not to wear it.

  4. Balaji

    So i had a followup with ENT but during the visits i myself did lot of research regarding my symptoms and found that my impacted wisdom teeth on the side of the affected ear could be causing my ear issues. I am visiting a orthodontic surgeon tomorrow to discuss removing the wisdom teeth and see if my ear issues resolve. I have something called pericoronitis that is the wisdom teeth is covered by muscle and i also had bacterial infection 2 weeks ago. I will be traveling next few weeks and planning to remove the teeth exactly four weeks from now so I have to bear this till then. I will update my progress. Do any of you have/had impacted wisdom teeth and ear issues.?

  5. Balaji

    Thanks very much for the quick response. It means a lot. I have a follow up with the ENT, he is a Harvard graduate so hoping to get more info on this subject. A small hissing on my affected ear started two days ago (or may be I am noticing it after all these diagnosis) and doesnt stop ever. I dont notice it if I am outdoors or leave oven fan or toilet fan running… its a hissing and not ringing.. Did you have tinnitus after and before the surgery? How bad?

    Also, I have an impacted wisdom tooth on the side of the affected ear and consulting a dental surgeon to know if it may be causing all these. My elder brother had an impacted wisdon tooth, tinnitus, loss of hearing and even some dizziness which all went away after removing the wisdom teeth. I have a series of doc appointments in the next week and a surgery to remove affected wisdom teeth in few weeks.. I will update my progress. Thanks!

  6. You’re welcome. I can’t say anything about your surgeon, other than trying to find out their history. I suppose if you can’t ask them the questions yourself during the initial consultations then they you may not want to go with their way of working with patients.

    I have some tinnitus in the ear that was operated but no issues otherwise. The hearing isn’t perfect but it’s much better than before surgery and has not from my experience declined since the operation.

    I received similar advice to yours to not wait too long for surgery because the longer you have it the less optimal results and recovery. Certainly the surgery is permanent as a (tiny) bone is removed and is replaced by a (tiny) prosthesis, but if you hearing is so bad in that ear anyhow there isn’t a lot to lose. Be thankful that it is only one ear. Of course there is the risk of nerve issues which I think is quite rare so long as the surgeon is careful. I had none.

  7. Balaji

    Thanks Ian for sharing your experience. I just got diagnosed with otosclerosis on my left ear (right ear is perfectly fine) and I am going through a great deal of confusion as to whether take the surgery or not. I have an appointment with Jerry Lin MD at Fairfax, Virginia and it is very difficult to obtain reviews of the surgeon. What really worries is the risks involved with the surgery. I am 31 and have 10 month old twin girls and I am the sole bread winner of the family. Of all the risks, complete loss of hearing and worse facial paralysis scares the heck out of me coz I at least need 10 more years to be able to work and provide for the family without any short-term or long term disability.

    My loss on the affected ear is not quite bad, I can hear OK and I do not notice at all due to my healthy right ear. I just got even worried when I came to know it’s a progressive disease as I don’t want it to be too late for a surgery. Doctors said I could go for a hearing aid (Seriously I dont want to wear a hearing aid and planning to go without it as I dont see any difference) but also said the stapes could stiffen further increasing the hearing loss further.

    Sorry for the rants, just want to check with you to know how you are feeling now since it’s almost 7 years since you had the surgery. How is you non affected ear during this period? Also, I was told that this surgery is permanent. I just want to do the right thing for myself and most important my family.

    Thanks in advance !

  8. Best of luck and success with the operation! If you can, post back and let us know about your experience.

  9. Terri

    Thanks Ian for your blog on your experience with your surgery. My surgery is now scheduled in June 2015. Very excited but nervous as well. Helped a lot reading posts on here from various people that are doing very well. I hope I picked the best surgeon for this surgery as he doesn’t do that many each year but has 25 years experience as an ENT.

  10. Yes I did quite a bit of diving, including getting my Technical Diving certification. I generally have not had any problems equalizing while descending so I don’t worry. If I do take a bit more attention to the operated ear to make sure it is always equalizing without any pressure.

  11. Julie

    Did you ever scuba dive after this?

  12. Denise

    I had two stapdectomies on my right ear, the first time I was left with about 30% of my hearing and some tinnitus. I needed a second one because everything came apart in my ear. I had a revised stapes done at the Shea’s ear clinic, this one failed and left me deaf in the right ear with cross over hearing. I was told I have some hearing but not enough to do anything with. Approx one month ago my tinnitus increased in volume and now I also have hissing, roaring and sometimes an echo sound. I am wondering if my footplate or if something inside my ear shifted after all these years. I was to see another ENT but he didn’t say that he saw anything unusual in my ear. How would he know, can you see the footplate? I thought this is behind the eardrum so how would they know? Anyone else have an issue like this. I live in PA, but willing to travel, who is the best when it comes to this procedure.

  13. Thanks for the comment. Everyone is adding to the knowledge here.

  14. Rachael

    Hi Tia,
    I am from Trinidad in the Caribbean. I had my Stapedectomy done on 25th January, 2012 on my left ear……It’s perfect now. You are correct about not doing it in the Car’bean. I did mine in Oregon….at Cornell. The Surgeon is Dr. Kim. He was fantastic, perfect bedside manners, pleasant and professional! Someone mentioned in a previous post about yawning and the level of hearing getting louder….that happens too…but it’s ok. My post op hearing test is 100%. I am returning to Oregon next year to operate on the other ear! ( My parents live there, so I was well accommodated) Cannot wait! Firstly, I have to do an MRI…to make sure the internal physiology is in order…..cause the Dr. said at the point of surgery on my left ear, he NEARLY cancelled due to my stapes being situated too closely to my facial nerves!…..because I came from ‘so far’ he really tried his best by angling the laser and inserting the titanium stapes prosthesis differently! Lots of faith and prayers and It was PERFECT. The ONLY thing I get SOMETIMES…is a little static when I use earphones…and then I get a little static metallic taste on the tongue…but that’s only when I adjust the earphones a little too snugly in the ear! Hope my info helps…any more questions, feel free to ask 🙂

  15. linda

    I was recently diagnosised with Otoscerlosis by an audiologist who refered me to an ENT. The ENT didn’t think surgery would improve in my hearing that much. I have a consant ringing and have very little hearing in my right ear. If there is little improvement from surgery, should it be considered or forget surgery and go with a hearing aid? I’m weighing the options, but I’m afraid of the possibility of facial paralysis and deafness. I live in Southern Illinois so specialized surgery centers aren’t readily available. I have heard that the Shea Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee was very good. Any advise would be helpful.

  16. Julie

    Thank you very much for your replies! Also, thank you, Ian, for posting your blog. It has been very helpful. I will follow up with updates as my recovery progresses.

  17. Randy Reichardt

    Julie, my packing was not visible, I couldn’t see it.

  18. It depends. I’ve got a massive ear canal so you can see all the way in. For a normal smaller opening I don’t think you could see that far in without using instruments.

  19. Randy Reichardt

    I should also mention that I had a laser stapedotomy, which means the surgeon cut into my stapes footplate and inserted a fluorplastic platinum piston. He noted that my stapes bone was not as wide as normal stapes bones are. The surgery was in my right ear.

  20. Randy Reichardt

    Julie, I agree with Ian. I had my surgery on the morning of 28 Feb 2012. I left the hospital at 12:30 hrs, felt no pain, no nausea, no vertigo or dizziness. I definitely had packing in my ear, as I am sure you have as well. My followup appointment was 9 days later. It hurt like hell to have the packing removed, but it was over quickly. My hearing has improved to about 90%, but will not improve beyond that. But I haven’t used my hearing aid since the day of the surgery. I wish you well and hope you are fine after your follow-up visit.

  21. Julie

    Thanks for the reply. Is the packing visible from outside the ear? I don’t actually see any packing in my ear.

  22. As far as I know packing is always used to ensure the eardrum heals in the right way. Also, in my case, there was dried blood on the eardrum which was washed out by the doctor on my follow up appointment.

  23. Julie

    I just had stapedectomy surgery in my right ear on July 25th (3 days ago). I had been putting the surgery off for six years – initially because I had a newborn baby when first diagnosed and later because I was so nervous! The surgeon said the surgery went well but that the foot plate of my stapes bone was more hardened and fixed than anticipated; therefore, the surgery took a little longer to get through the plate. Fortunately, I was only dizzy and nauseous the first day (honestly, I think that was from the anesthesia). I have had pain (like a bad earache), including some shooting pain. I’m also experiencing lots of tinnitus, and my voice vibrates in my head. I am not able to hear anything out of my ear. I have a follow up appointment on Fri. I noticed many people posted that they had packing in their ear after surgery that was later removed. I know this sounds ignorant, but I don’t know if I have packing or not. Is the packing placed inside the ear where it is not visible? I am hoping that there is packing in there that I cannot see, and that is the reason I can’t hear. I do feel encouraged after reading above that many could not hear the first week or more after surgery. Any feedback is appreciated!

  24. Claudia1

    Hi. I had my stapedectomy on July 10th. Everything went well. My major issue now on day 10 is the major itching I have inside my ear. Sponge packing was removed 2 days ago, ear feels like it has liquid inside; there is still a lot of crackling and popping. My Doctor didn’t provide me with much guidance and didn’t say anything about the slight but continuous buzzing that I am hearing… Any feedback would be really appreciated. This blog has been so helpful.

  25. Kirstie


    I first noticed the hearing loss in my right ear about 5 years ago. I kept putting off going to the doctors until nearly a year ago. I finally succumbed and found out I was actually severely deaf in that ear.

    I am now 11 days post op and already I can hear so much more. I’m having the packing removed this week and I am hopeful that my hearing wll be totally restored.

    On the day of surgery, which I had at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, England by Mr Axon, I arrived at the hospital at 7 am and thankfully I was the first name on the list for surgery. After all the tests had been completed I got to theatre at about 8.45 am and was put to sleep for the operation.

    I awoke groggily in recovery at about 10.30, feeling very sick and very dizzy. They wheeled me back up to the ward, where I was monitored and slept on and off until about 1 pm. I could hear lots of crackling and popping sounds going on in my right ear. There was a fair bit of blood in my ear and one of the nurses popped cotton wool in the ear to soak it up.

    I managed to fight off the sick and dizzy feelings to get up and use the bathroom, then eat a few biscuits and a cup of tea. The nurse then told me I could get ready to go home once the surgeon had been up to the ward to see me. The surgeon arrived, checked me over, and told me I could be discharged. I was so happy to be going home by about 3 pm.

    When I got home I went straight to bed until the next morning. My ear felt blocked, probably due to the packaging and it was very uncomfortable sleeping on my back as I usually sleep on my right side. You really do need to rest for a good few days after the operation. I find myself doing chores around the house which I really shouldn’t be doing and tiring myself out really fast.

    I am still getting the odd shooting pain, and occasional dull ache, but I’m now desperate to have the packing removed so I can hear the true success of the operation. I have held the telephone to my right ear and I can already hear so much more clearly than I could before, even with the packing in it.

    So far, I would definitely receommend this operation. The benefits far far outweigh the risks.

    Good luck to anyone considering it.

  26. Rafiudeen shaikh

    My hearing problem started in 2010 when i suddenly started hearing slight titinus sound in both the ears with my busy work schedule i did not heed to the warnings ….after few months it got worse ..i went to Dr Alan in holy family hospital in Mumbai.he did my audiogram and other tests and gave me some medicines but it did not improve went to him because he had done an operation on my mom (ent).anyways went to my family doctor and he suggested me a senior ent surgeon in lilavati hospital…showed him the reports and he immediately figured out and advised me operation and pinpointed the problem ..hearing that i was devastated..normally a fit person who takes normal care of his body how could this happen to me was puzzling went to at-least several ent specialists and every one suggested the same.
    struggled with the idea of op wore a hearing aid but felt too conscious and results were not that good so took a plunge on 14th june 2012 and here i am on 20th june 2012 writing about my experiences…no improvement what so ever will put it in point form for every one to grasp quickly;-
    1>did it in general anateshia.
    2>titanium prothesis kurtz k clip was used.
    3>doc gave local i still could feel the pain so general was given.
    4>was almost asleep the whole day in conscious state was scared
    5>came home the next day rested for three days lying on one side or face facing upward or downward
    6>yesterday decided to venture out went for almost 5 hours driving felt very very drained and tired was sleeping ever since.
    7>got up tires and have to go to the doc now in one hour to remove the packing.
    8>from the day of the op was frustrated since i barely could notice any change in hearing .
    9>did some slight mistakes like exerting a little pressure in the rest room and bending down but not much immediately corrected.
    10>while yawning could hear a little enhanced sound hollow… kept the hope alive
    11>worried about not even a slight improvement in hearing so far
    12>noting un usual feeling all symptoms as per book……cannot wait for improved hearing.
    will keep you posted too worried and tense may allah show e the way

  27. Andi OHara

    Gisele, I had both ears done in 2003 and have lost hearing in my left ear and just like you when I yawn or clear my ears (dont do often) I can hear perfectly.

    I agree its like the thing moves and works during those brief seconds.

    Would love to hear if anyone has the answer.



  28. Tia

    How old are u Craig and I’d also like to know if ur hearing has improved. BTW I was recently diagnosed with this thing and I’m devastated, I am 30 yrs old and it has been affecting me for the past 4yrs and no1 was able to say what it is until recently. I feel embarrased and depressed most of the time and i dnt know what to do. I am considering hearing aids at the moment but i’d definately like to do the surgery. It does cost alot though and as such I need to save for that. I also found out that my father and his father has this disease and I am experiencing most of these symptoms that every1 writes about. I can see that the hear house clinic is very good and I’d like to get mine done there because I am terrified of the risks involved in this procedure. I live in the caribbean and I doubt this surgery is practised here much so I do not want to take the chance to get it done here. Thanx Mr. Ian your blog is very informative and helpful for a moment I thought I was alone in this world with this disease.

  29. Deepak

    How long is hospital stay for Stapedectomy &tympanoplastry procedure.

  30. Craig

    I’m the youngest i’ve heard of those gone through this operation, now on my 3rd day post op, still very dizzy, and my ear seems to be fill with water or something. Horrible feeling, i just hope its worth it.

  31. Randy

    .: I had a laser stapedectomy on Tuesday, 28 February 2012, in the morning, beginning around 08:05 hrs. The surgery took place at the Royal Alex Hospital in Edmonton. Everything went smoothly. I was prepped in a Day Surgery cubicle very nicely by a nurse ahead of time, who also hooked up my IV. I was wheeled into the pre-op area and met with the anesthesiologist. Soon afterward I was wheeled into the surgery room. Everyone made me feel at ease.

    I moved from the gurney to the operating table. My head was covered with small sheets of cloth, and I sensed a very bright light over my ear. My head was tilted to the left side. By this time, the neuroleptic anesthetic had kicked in. Shortly thereafter, I began to hear various sounds, clicking, whirring, etc. The surgeon did speak to me at least one time. I don’t remember a lot toward the end of the surgery.

    I was wheeled out into recovery and spent at least 30-45 minutes there. I sensed no dizziness or nausea at all.

    Eventually I was moved back to my cubicle and rested further. Soon my IV was disconnected. Around noon my ride came, and I was told I could leave.

    I have been putting ear drops in my ear twice a day, and taking T3s for pain relief. I have had NO dizziness or nausea whatsoever. My ear is plugged with packing and I am changing cotton balls periodically throughout the day. I can tell there is hearing in that ear, but it is packed so tightly that I won’t know the result until the packing is removed next week.

    I have a Fisch Fluroplastic and Platinum Piston in my middle ear. The surgeon did say that my stapes was a bit misshapen (or words to that effect.) He said the operation went smoothly and without any issues.

    The area around my ear is predictably very sore, feels like I was kicked in the head. 🙂 But I feel ok otherwise, and am resting at home for the week. I’ll have a better idea of how my hearing is in that ear after the packing is removed.

    So far, so good.

  32. Gisele

    I had surgery on my left ear back in 1998. At first my hearing came back although i had a log of ringing and noises in my ear. I went back to the doctor and he said i had a lot of scar tissue so he had to take me in again ti scrape it all. Ever since he did that I was not able to notice any difference and i have learned to live with the ringing from time to time. Unfortunately with the passing of the years, my hearing has deteriorated to the point where i now use a hearing aid. The one thing that puzzles me and continues to do so is that when i remove the hearing aid, if i yawn or open my jaw really wide, i can hear perfectly fine for those couple of seconds. No one has been able to explain why this is. I only wish i could hear as well as i do when in do that. Almost sounds to me like the prostetic has moved out of place and yawning positions it right? Does anyone know why this is??? It is driving me crazy cause i really hate wearing the hearing aids.

  33. Walter

    I had this surgery in 2009 in El Salvador and did not work(Left Ear). However, last year in August I had it again in the same left ear and WORKED perfectly(Done in the United States). It took me four days to start hearing and facing the side effects such as the bionic voice, my own voice louder in my head and so on.

    Because of the results, I took the decision to have the right ear surgery. So, I had it on Feb 21, 2012 (today is Feb 26) and its been 5 days. It is not recovering as the left ear but seems to be going all right.

  34. Samiksha

    For you Deepanjali
    Please visit for details. Its doctor Prabodh Karnik. And his clinic is in Dadar. I know i am quiet late for this reference. but may be it will help some one. If any one needs a good doc, and come down to mumbai , I am having no complications post surgery. and i am leading a normal life.

  35. Thanks for the feedback. Others may find this helpful.

  36. Randy

    .: I am scheduled for this surgery in one week. Thank you for providing so much information, I really appreciated such a detailed description of the entire experience. My fingers are crossed and I hope everything will go well. I am a bit nervous, of course, but will put my full trust in the surgeon and his team.

  37. Samiksha

    For a great doc in Mumbai India , please visit
    I got my stapedectomy from him and am very happy to find such a wonderful doctor

  38. My best wishes for a quick and better recovery. From the feedback here and what I’ve read elsewhere dizziness is rare. Press your doctor for feedback.

  39. Paul

    I had a stapedectomy last Thursday (9 days ago) and the main problem is that im still so dizzy. I feel like ive drank 15 pints of beer. My ear is also still bleeding a little all the time. I actually dont care about my hearing anymore, im more concerned this dizzy feeling will never go away. Also completely deaf in that ear but thats probably because some of the packing is still in. It comes out in 48 hours.

    After 6 nights in hospital and very much doubting having the right ear done. The dizzyness is not worth it.

    Think im a one off though!!!

  40. I will be interesting to hear your results. Otosclerosis affects the mid range speech frequencies rather than the highs. And in fact my operated ear seems to be more sensitive in the high frequencies than in the mid range.

  41. Jay

    I had my left ear done in 2001 and my right in 2002. There was no improvement in my hearing, but for ten years, no worsening either. Now, I am going to see a doctor tomorrow because my left ear has begun to alternate between buzzing and sporadic increased tinnitus. Some sounds appear (aurally) to vibrate. My right ear’s hearing seems to have decreased lately as well. Also, my strongest side affect has been the loss of the highest frequencies. I cannot hear the difference, for instance, between ‘F’ and ‘S’ and ‘TH’, especially on the phone. I will be interested to see what the doctor has to say about the long-term ramifications of the procedure.

  42. Rita

    To Miriam Collins:
    Hi! I will have a surgery for my left ear to treat ottosclerosis. I am having a very hard time to deside about this. Some say you can loose the hearing completly , some say about the face paralisis that can happend due to the nerve dammage. Also I am concerned that how long does the hearing last without problems, I mean does this thing the surgery have to be repeated every some years. You say that you have a surgery done 40 years ago on the ear. Is that ear still hearing without the problems.

  43. Achauhan

    HI Akhilesh, can you please tell me the name of doctor in delhi??

  44. MJ

    I had my left ear spadectomy surgery April 4, 2011 so far so good and still hearing wonderful, and now I’m on a waiting list to have the right one done, so can’t wait for this, because I’m having terrible plugged feeling and tinnitis and having a hard time hearing out of this ear, so it will be a miracle once I have this one done and the surgery will a success, this will be the best Christmas present ever to have good hearing in both ears!

  45. Pauline Dye

    I’m 58 and had my right ear operated on last week. Everything went well and I feel fine. I’m due to see my consultant tomorrow when he will remove the dressing then I will know how successful the operation has been. Age is not a problem, if you need the operation go for it.

  46. Shannon Bayliss


    I am due in for surgery in 2 weeks and am terrified that I will lose my hearing completely, your story has given me a wee bit of peace of mind.


  47. Miriam Collins

    I’m 59 and ready to have my right ear done but am concerned about my age. I had this surgery 40 years ago and had a great result. Is there anybody out there about my age who has had this surgery?

  48. Sandra

    I’ve had surgery to my left ear on 30/09. Initially I couldn’t hear anything out of that ear and the dr told me that it is very swollen and to be patient. After a while I could hear very slightly out of that ear and now I feel its gone back to square one. I can’t hear again out of that ear. Its now 18 days post op. Should I just be patient or should I worry? Is there anybody that has been through this? Please let me know.

  49. Akhilesh

    I had stapedectomy on 29th September in Delhi, India. This has been hereditary. It was a bit confusing at the start as another doctor had advised for hearing aid and a surgery later. But since I was going through a hearing loss for last four years and seemed to have very recently developed a mild loss in other (right) ear as well, I decided to go back to the other specialist who had advised a surgery 4 years back itself.

    The surgery followed typically the same procedure-I was given local anesthesia, vial of blood, some glucose (I think) and one more injection. Not as painful I dreaded it to be. The pulse were really high thanks to my trepidation and hence the surgeon waited till I calmed a bit. I heard scrapping noises during the surgery, suction and drilling. They stuffed the ear canal with a packing which was taken out after 5 days. The heating was good right after the surgery. After the packing was removed, there were sounds of doors, luggage being placed on table that were immensely loud but I could hear human very well. The loudness has gone down since then and I am able to hear properly. My next visit is on 29th october and I guess a hearing test will follow the course of action.

    I must confess I was in a dilemma over surgery vs hearing aid vs nothing at all. More so for a good surgeon. So far, I have been very happy with my choices, specially the surgeon !

  50. caroline

    I had the procedure done under general anasestic a week ago, and to date feel pretty rubbishy, but there is a definate improvement today, I am up and about a bit , my lips are not so numb today and I just had a piece of chocolate that actually tasted of chocolate. My ear is very tender and the packing is uncomfortable, one more week and it comes out, so hopefully I will hear some improvement, For the first couple of days my hearing seemed improved, but now I am not so so sure.

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