Stapedectomy for Otosclerosis and Its Effect on Tinnitus — Post Your Experience!

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by CamilleCR, Dec 11, 2021.

    1. CamilleCR

      CamilleCR Member

      Los Angeles, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I discovered my hearing loss, and probably my tinnitus, which varies from soft to very loud, is probably caused by otosclerosis. The stapes is trapped by an overgrowth of bony tissue and cannot vibrate and conduct sound. Hearing aids can help to some degree, but I've not tried them.

      There is surgery, a stapedectomy. In it, the surgeon makes a tiny cut in the eardrum to expose the inner ear. He vaporizes the stapes with a laser, then inserts a prosthetic stapes - smaller than a grain of rice - in a position that can vibrate. It is an outpatient procedure. The ear canal is then packed with cotton or ointment for a week or two.

      The surgery has more than a 90% success rate at restoring hearing and most of the time, tinnitus is eliminated or greatly reduced. However, there is the risk that tinnitus could increase. It's a very, very small risk, but it does exist.

      Has anyone had this surgery, and what is your experience with it?

      Thank you and bless you.
      • Good Question Good Question x 2
    2. Padraigh Griffin

      Padraigh Griffin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I haven't had a Stapedectomy, but I did have an operation to have my Stapedius and Tensor Tympani lasered. Just the only thing is my tinnitus spiked massively due to packing but it is subsiding. Your operation is similar but totally different!

      Best of luck.
    3. GregCA

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I've had this surgery.

      The chances of helping with your tinnitus depends on where your tinnitus is coming from. If it's from the mechanical (and fluid dynamics) side of otosclerosis, there is a chance of it going away (I don't remember exactly the probability from the clinical study I read, but it was reasonably good IIRC). If it's from sensorineural losses, I'm not sure it would stand a chance to go away, as the surgery won't fix sensorineural losses.

      The surgery has a small probability of bad outcomes (full deafness, facial nerve damage) and is generally really good at closing the air-bone gap (ABG). There is sometimes (as in my case), a degradation of the high frequencies, perhaps from the stress of the surgery (the tonotopic map puts the high frequency hair cells right where the drilling/lasering is going to happen).

      Ask your doctor, in particular about his/her surgery stats.

      I consider my surgery a success, even though it didn't get rid of my tinnitus, because it (a) got rid of severe debilitating hyperacusis, (b) improved my hearing overall and (c) seems to have stopped the progression of the disease (although it could also be the fluoride treatment I've started post surgery).

      For me, the surgery wasn't painful (I was under general anesthesia), but the recovery was: the packing completely blocks your hearing so you feel completely deaf. That gives free rein to tinnitus and can drive you absolutely mad.

      Good luck!
      • Informative Informative x 2

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