What is a stapedectomy?
There are different problems related to the ear, which in addition to involving discomfort and pain, can lead to hearing loss. In the following lines we will talk about one of them, you will know what is stapedectomy.
What is a stapedectomy?
A stapedectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the stapes and replace it with a prosthesis, which is attached to the anvil and inserted into the oval window.
It is not a complicated operation, it is performed under sedation and local anesthesia, and it does not leave a scar. It is the most suitable treatment for otoesclerosis. With this intervention, hearing is increased in 90% of cases.
You must take into account that otosclerosis is a disease that consists of an abnormal growth of the spongy bone. When this happens, the bones of the ear cannot vibrate to perceive the different sounds. It is the most common cause of middle ear hearing loss in young people.
It should be noted that not all patients suffering from otosclerosis can be operated on. In fact, when the disease has progressed to the point where it affects the cochlea, deafness is permanent. It is necessary to carry out the pertinent studies to determine whether the patient is a candidate for the operation or not.
How is stapedectomy performed?
To perform the operation it is necessary to anesthetize the outer ear canal. Then, an incision is made in the skin of the ear canal itself. Through it, the aim is to reach the eardrum membrane. This is separated so that it can reach the inside of the middle ear.
When this is reached, the disease is confirmed and the stapes bone is removed. The prosthesis is then placed and attached to the anvil bone. Once this process is completed, the eardrum membrane is put in place and the skin of the canal is also put in place.
What side effects can stapedectomy have?
As you have seen, it is not a very complicated operation, but it can lead to some complications, which are these:
- Dizziness and balance problems.
- Changes in the sense of taste.
- Facial paralysis.
Can otosclerosis be cured?
Yes, through stapedectomy, the concept we talk about today in this article. So, it is a surgical operation in which the stapes bone is replaced by a prosthesis so that the sound waves can pass through again without any problem.
It is a simple operation, under sedation, which is carried out by means of microscopic vision through the ear canal. The objective is to reach the bone that has grown and replace it with a small prosthesis, which allows the transmission of sound.
The other way to treat otosclerosis is by means of hearing aids, a non-invasive solution although not capable of treating a case of deafness either. If you choose this option, it is important to carry out a constant follow-up, because as it is a progressive disease, it will be necessary to update the hearing aid to adapt its power as well as to carry out good maintenance. But you know that in this, we will be happy to help you.
In people over 65 or when the disease has reached very advanced stages, a stapedectomy may not be useful. In any case, it is always the doctor who should decide.
And after the stapedectomy?
Each patient is unique and will go through a different recovery process, but as a rule, there are usually no complications. Some of the symptoms may be alterations in taste but they are temporary. In time, everything will return to normal. What is recommended is to avoid air travel, at least until three weeks after the operation
Stapedectomy is a necessary procedure for most people. If it is not performed, progressive hearing loss may occur and eventually, deafness may develop.