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Complete guide on Stapedotomy

  • Posted on- Jan 31, 2018
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Otosclerosis is a hearing condition that can slowly make it hard for anyone to hear. This is caused by spongy bone hardening around the stapes, the third of three bones in the middle ear. The stapes is the smallest bone in the human body.

There is an effective treatment available for otosclerosis in which one has to go through stapedotomy surgery, it is a procedure which removes the stapes and then replaces it with a prosthesis, or artificial bone.

A Stapedotomy surgery may include:

  • General or local anesthesia
  • Eardrum and bones evaluation
  • Laser removal of the diseased stapes bone
  • A metal stapes replacement prosthesis is inserted

Stapedotomy has been the main form of treatment for otosclerosis since the 1960's, but its origin dates back to the 1870's. With the number of advancements in surgical technique, laser technology stapedotomy is now very effective, precise and safe. Stapedotomy only takes around an hour to complete under local or general anesthesia and patients are usually discharged within a few hours.

What is Stapedotomy Surgery?

Stapes surgery is a surgical procedure of the middle ear that is performed to improve hearing.

The stapes bone is typically mobile but, if it gets stuck in a fixed position then it results in a conductive hearing loss.

If the disease process is due to abnormal mineralization of the temporal bone called otosclerosis, then the hearing can be improved with a Stapedotomy surgery. This surgery improves hearing by removing the stapes bone and replacing it with a micro prosthesis.

Stapedotomy is performed to bypass the immobile stapes with an artificial piston. A very small hole (<0.8), is created with the laser in the footplate to allow for placement of the prosthesis. It is advised to operate only one ear at a time, starting with the one that is majorly affected. The second ear, if affected, can be cured with application of the same treatment. 

What should a patient know before Stapedotomy?

Stapedotomy surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. During the preoperative visit, medical history, physical examination, a discussion about details of the surgical procedure and the associated risks and benefits will be discussed. At this time the patient will want to let the doctor know about any medications he/she is taking including dosage and frequency as well as any known drug allergies.

What can Patients Expect after Stapedotomy?

Following Stapedotomy surgery, most patients are able to go home that evening or the next morning. It is best to not blow the nose for one week after the surgery and should keep water out of the ear for at least 2 weeks following the operation. Do not go swimming right after Stapedotomy.

If at any time after the Stapedotomy the patient experiences sudden hearing loss, pain, dizziness or any new symptom related to the operated ear, the patient should notify the doctor immediately. Complications from Stapedotomy are very rare.

How long does the Stapedotomy take?

Stapedotomy surgery is done in an operating room under general anesthesia and takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The patients typically rests for 1-3 hours before they are sent home.

What are the different tests to be performed before Stapedotomy?

Some of the different tests to be performed before Stapedotomy are:

1.    Computed Tomography
2.    X-ray


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