Don’t let hearing loss limit you.” Recent advancements in technology and medicine have ensured that hearing loss is no longer a hurdle for those who wish to live life to the fullest. Stapedectomy is one such remedial procedure that has proven to amend deafness in cases where the patient’s condition is rather severe and traditional hearing aids have proven to be of little help.
What is Stapedectomy?
The “Stapedectomy” procedure derives its name from the bone located in the middle ear called “staples” or stirrup. The surgical process involves making an incision in the ear canal’s skin following which the eardrum and incised skin are lifted to reach the staples bone. A laser is sometimes used for the purpose of destroying parts of the staples bone, following which, the remnant pieces are removed.
The surgery ends with the removal of the staples bone and replacing it with a prosthesis. Once the device fits in the ear, an ointment plug or cotton may be lightly stuffed in the ear canal to ensure that the eardrum is in place. The packing also protects the prosthesis and prevents it from being dislocated until it is set.
When is it Recommended?
Stapedectomy is primarily recommended to patients who are suffering from acute otosclerosis—a condition that is sometimes inherited and is the product of abnormal remodelling of the staples in the middle ear. This impediment prevents sound from travelling through the ear since the bone can no longer vibrate and facilitate the hearing process. As a consequence, hearing is impaired.
Not everyone, however, is required to undergo this procedure to revive their hearing. Patients are required to undergo ear examinations and audiometric tests, and their responsiveness to a hearing aid is also taken into account following which the doctor decides the appropriateness of this surgery.
Moreover, postoperative factors are also assessed in order to determine the suitability of the procedure for patients who may have underlying conditions that might be affected by potential risks rising from an unsuccessful surgery. These risks involve complete deafness, development of tinnitus, facial paralysis, and temporary problems like dizziness and loss of taste.
Hearing is restored with Stapedectomy in 90% cases, and most potential risks are eliminated when the process is carried out by an experienced surgeon.