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As promised, I am here to report on the stapedectomy for my right ear.

I arrived at the Outpatient center at 5:30 AM on Thursday, Jan 4th 2007.
Before surgery, I was brought to the OR prep area at 7:30 AM and was given an intraveneous "cocktail" to relax me.
I was then wheeled into the OR and was out, without any memory or warning.
I awoke in the recovery room.

The first few hours after the surgery were just terrible. I was so dizzy and nauseous that I threw up several times. I felt drugged and uncomfortable.
None of the 4 aniti nauseal medications that were tried, seemed to do a thing for me. The room was spinning and there was nothing to be done except tough it out, pray a lot, and hope it went away soon.

If you were to ask me if I regretted having the operation done during that time, I would have told you YES!

After several hours, the nausea began to dissipate. Although, the slightest movement would cause severe dizzyness. There was some mild to moderate pain in my ear, and some ear ringing, but nothing untolerable as far as that goes.

Around 12 hours later, I felt much better and was able to drink some broth without feeling sick. I had to move very slowly to avoid dizzyness.

From my understanding, most people go home the same day, unless they have extreme problems. I thought I was one of those people, but as I said, I started to feel much better.
When I spoke to the doctor that evening, he told me that my reaction - as far as throwing up - was typical, and as long as I was being discharged the same day, I am considered one of the "good" reactions.

Typical? I can't recall reading about severe nausea like what I experienced.

Anyhow, I was glad to go home, and now the next morning, I removed the bandages on my ear as directed, and replaced the cotton ball in my ear.

I can't hear anything in my right ear, so I am surprised that some have reported hearing so soon. Maybe some doctors don't pack the ear the same way, I'm not sure.

Anyhow, I feel much better. Hey, compared to how I felt after the operation, I'm on top of the world right now :)

I'll add more if there is anything new to report.
Hey Andy and Dwalt,

Yesterday was interesting. I did manage to get there on time without coffee, it was a struggle, but I made it.

Pre-OP lasted about 30mins. Blood work and chest xray. I was then put in a hospital room for about an hour waiting my turn. The took me in to pre-op area at about 10am. The nurses talked to me, the anestesia person told me what and how he was going to do, then the doc came in and talked to me for a bit. About 15 minutes later they took me to the OR. The strapped me down to the bed (i felt like i was in an institution and they were restraining me so i didn't hurt myself or something). They put in the iv and covered me with lots of blankets. The they said..it's time. We are going to put some stuff in your iv and it might sting a little, then you will be out. Right as they put in in the iv...it start hurting. I said...."Sting a litte? It hurts like hell"...that is the last thing i remember.
An hour later i woke up in the recovery room. I could hear things immeditely (i had to take both my hearing aids out for the surgery and didn't have the on for the unoperated ear in yet). I was surprised. Yes, it was very muffled like my ear waas full of water - but I could hear then talking. It was very cool. My nurse never left my side, she was very attentative. She gave me some ice chips because my throat was hurting bad and that seemed to help. I was very nausious and dizzy but never threw up.

They took me to my room around 1:10 where my family was and they were all saying they wondered how I was doing as I was coming thru the door (again, I still had no hearing aid in the other ear). I said i feel like crap, but i can hear a little. Big grins all the way around. My bf gave me a huge hand squeese and kiss - he was soooo happy for me.

I stayed in the room till about 3:15 till the dizziness dispated, then went home. The car ride liked to kill me (the motion) but i made it home.

About 30 mins after i got home, my girls got home from school. The first thing i said qas "shhhhhhhhh" cause they were being loud as normal talking to me so I could hear them. The oldest one got so excited. She said to her sister...did you hear that? Mom told us to be quiet! That means she can hear us. It was quite a moving moment.
I slept off and on till this morning. I had a little ear drainage last night but not too bad. I changed the cotton ball as instructed. I am able to hear the tv without putting it on "39" for volume but it's obviously still sounding funny.

W really wasn't expecing to hear anything for a few weeks, but so far - it's been all good.

I haven't had any pain yet, but from everyone's reports - that is still yet to come.

So far, I am very happy with the results. I know it's still early and lots of things can and will happen but I'll deal with them when the time comes.

The dizziness is awful but like Andy said..just move slow. The sudden head movements is what gets me. When walking, i tend to float to the left but that is also getting a little better.

OK. nap time again, I'll update y'all again soon.

----CAB---
Good Morning Guys!

Yesterday was mostly a good day. I gotta tell you though, when i read all about the dizziness and every one stressed that i would extremely dizzy I thought i was prepared for it. No way - this is awful. I mean moving my head even a quarter inch and i wanna just pass out. Nothing properly prepared me for exactly how bad it would be. They gave me valum for the dizziness and it works for a couple hours but you can sure tell when it wears off. It hits me like a rock.

The ringing/buzzing comes and goes and is usually after I get up and move around. If i'm laying still for any period of time (which is a lot) then it doesn't happen.

This morning I put the tv volume half way. I could hear it, not really clear but could make out most of the words. So having the volume on 17 instead of 39 is cool.

I go back to doc on the 24th for my first post op visit and hopefully to get the packing out, then again on Feb 28for my first hearing test.

I Popped my ears last night - both of them by accident. In the operated ear I could hear a "squishing/gushing sound" when i did it. I gotta call doc today and see if i need to go in and get it looked at. I hope I didn't mess up the way the ear drum is laying and it keeps it from healing properly. That has me a little worried.

I had a little drainage from my ear last night but other than that, it appears fine.

I'm still very surprised that my taste was not affected at all. Nothing has tasted funny or like the metallic taste people have reported.

My mom told me that after the surgery for a couple hours the left side of my face was drooping a bit but by the time i got home and in front of a mirror it was back to normal.

Today i'm able to walk a straight line instead of floating to the left. That is also an improvement. I'm also having a little pain in the operated ear, but nothing unbearable.

Of all things to hear..i heard my dog snoring last night! I even heard myself snoring so loud that I woke myself up a couple of times.

Doc tomorrow at noon to see if I messed up the ear drum seal - but it's supposed to get really icy here tonight so i'm not sure I can get there. I'm in Dallas, TX.

More later,
-CAB-
Ok Guys, here's my story. Share yours with us if you feel comfortable doing so.

My hearing started getting bad when I was 18. I joined the Navy and during boot camp they almost sent me home because of my hearing. I never noticed that I was having hearing issues and pretty much just ignored it until many years later.

I went to the audiologist at age 26 and he told me - "your bone is hardening and doesn't wiggle like it should, it's partially hereditary and very common. Your hearing isn't too bad, just get hearing aids." At that time both ears were affected but the left one was a lot worse than the right. I asked if there was any surgery that could be done to correct it, he said [B]"no, just get hearing aids".[/B] I was young and dumb and took him at his word that there was no surgery available. I was also too worried about appearances and refused to wear hearing aids so I just said "huh?" alot to everyone.

At age 27, I had my first child. I weighed 93 lbs before I got pregnant...and I gained 65 lbs during the pregnancy. I lost all the weight in about 3 months and was back at 93 lbs - That is when my hearing went downhill extremely fast in the left ear. The doc said that gaining all that weight changed the bone structure of my entire body - including my facial and inner ear bones. Then loosing it so fast changed the bone structure AGAIN... which really messed up the "bones ability to wiggle" to make sound.

I gave in and got a hearing aid for the left ear because I really couldn't hear much at that point out of that ear. I could still hear ok in the right one, not perfect, but ok enough to function.

At age 29 I had my second child. Same story - 93lbs before, gained 56 this time, lost it in 3 months...and lost the hearing in the right ear in the process.

I was going to loose the hearing in both ears regardless - all the quick weight gain and loss just accelerated it about 10 years is what the doc said.

So, a hearing aid for the right ear was now a necessity. Every time I went for hearing tests, then went to get new hearing aids over the last 13 years..no one - I mean NO ONE, has ever said that it could be corrected with surgery. I asked the first 5 years of going to the ear docs and was always told "just wear hearing aids". I finally quit asking and decided that this was how life was going to be and I would just have to live with it.

If divorce is EVER a good thing, it was for me. I had to get on my own health insurance. I also got a bf. He did some research and found out in September 06 that there was indeed a surgery to fix it and I now had a health insurance company/doctors that wouldn't lie to me. It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante [B]HMO[/B]..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it:mad:

So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me. :blob_fire
I went to a couple of specialists in Dallas, went through many many hearing tests, etc. and decided to get it done, the left one first because its 90db. I'm on the road to recovery on the left ear and already excited about having the right one done. The right ear is 60db.

I'm really excited about joining the world again because I had really withdrawn from everyone the past few years. I avoided social functions of all types because I knew it would be more of a hassle than anything to even try to have conversation and I would only get bummed/upset/depressed, whatever you want to call it, if I did go. I haven't watched TV in almost 2 years because it just frustrates me. Again, my bf finally got me hooked on the "captioning" on the tv so I wouldn't get frustrated and i've been able to watch movies reading the words the last few months. He has been such a blessing to me.

Now for current stuff.
A little pain in the ear today but nothing unbearable. The "heartbeat or pulse" sound rattling my head yesterday lasted about 7 hours and thankfully has not started again yet today. Still no taste issues. I did get really dizzy this morning getting out of bed and almost fell but I caught myself. It was so good yesterday not being dizzy all day that I forgot to be careful. I won't make that same mistake again. I'm hearing a little out of the ear but it's still really muffled sounding. Packing is still in there and the cotton ball too. Ear is still draining but not too much.

Yes, I was given the same restrictions that Andy was given. No flying, elevators, lifting, nose blowing, sneezing or anything else that creates "internal pressure" on the ears for 3 months. No water in the ear for a month. My doc even said that it's possible to do the right ear as early as March. We'll see. I've read stories where some people still have side effects for up to 6 months. When all mine are gone...we'll start over again.

Andy - just spend lots of time laying on the ground rolling around and playing with your wonderful son. The months will pass quick enough and you will be able to toss him in the air before you know it - and be able to hear him giggle!

I will ask you both tell everyone you know that wears hearing aids that there are different surgeries available. They may choose not to go that route, but make sure they know it's an option. I just wish someone, anyone would have told me years ago. There is a lady at my work in the same situation - for 10 years - and no one had told her either. She goes in Feb to my doc to start the process.

I'm so happy that however you both found out about the surgery possibility that at least you DID find out.

Dwalt - is your hearing loss a recent thing or an issue you have dealt with for years also? Andy has been dealing with it for 6 years, I'm going on 24 years.

I know i'm prolly make my posts too long, but i'm just so excited about many things these days that I want to tell the world. I feel like i've been given a second chance at a near normal life and my children will no longer feel like they have to speak for me, be embarrased for me or explain that I can't hear every time we go somewhere. The burden will be lifted off their shoulders.:)

More later,

-Carol-
Hi everyone,

First of all, boy am I glad I found this board after days of googling!!! I'm 23 years old and have suffered hearing loss in both ears since I was 19. The loss was so gradual that I finally noticed its impact when I realised I couldn't catch clearly what my lecturer was saying in class. I can no longer hear someone if he/she doesn't face me when speaking and most of friends pointed out that my speaking voice is getting softer. I got really depressed (esp when people look at you funny when you answer their questions wrongly or when you keep asking them to repeat what they're saying) and this started to affect my self-esteem. It was then that my family encouraged me to seek medical advice.

Last month, I visited an ENT specialist and he told me that I have moderate hearing loss equally in both ears and from the pattern of my loss, he confirmed I have ostosclerosis. After crying buckets over this revelation :D , I heeded my doc's strong advice and underwent the stapedectomy procedure last Mon (Jan 29th) on my right ear.

-----

I went through the surgery under general anaesthesia and woke up feeling like crap! I had moderate pain but was extremely dizzy and nausea (esp when I tried to turn my head) and and the right part of my tongue felt numb. For the first three days, I was dizzy from the pain meds and I can't talk well (my jaw feels tight) and I can't chew my food w/o feeling discomfort in my ear. Finally on the fourth day, I woke up in the morning with no ear pain and dizziness. Yay!

However one problem that I have is my constant burping and belching since the op. Each time I burp, I can feel something moving in my ear (no pain) but it feels pretty scary. I'm scared my eardrum or the piston will move!

Today is the 8th day after op. I just had an appointment with my doc today and he told me everything looks fine. Pfft, I didn't get to ask him my burping problem since he was so fast! :-(

So far, I can't really hear much with my operated ear (right ear). If I close my left ear, I can only hear the radio or tv when the volume is turned up really high and it has this weird muffled echo and hollow sound. Yikes! Doc told me the packing would be removed next wk and I really hope my right ear will not worsen!

So that's it. So far I'm only on my sinus medication, braving the crackling, ringing and sometimes the sound of my heartbeat in my operated ear. In the mean time, I'm really glad I've found other people in this board who've had similar experiences as mine. At least I won't drive myself crazy over all this worrying alone. Hehe... Goodday everyone!

Jazz
I am a 42 year old female. I was diagnosed with otosclerosis in both ears last November. I went to have my hearing checked since it was becoming harder to hear certain voices in conversation.

I had my first stapedectomy yesterday morning on my left ear. Post Op - a lot of spinning and nausea. :dizzy: It subsided as the day went on. 3 prescriptions - one for nausea/dizziness, Tylenol with Codeine for pain and an antibiotic ear drop to start in 10 days. I didn't use the Tylenol w/ codeine since the pain wasn't that severe. Also, I took the nausea meds today as a precaution. A little oozing of the ear overnight, so I replaced the cotton that the doc had placed. Last night I used my cell phone and noticed tones/sounds that it makes during dialing that I had never heard before! That was the best!:D
I feel great today. A little light headed and slight ear oozing. Also, a sore throat from the breathing tube used in surgery and a loss of taste and sensation on the left side of my tongue and my ear feels like its packed. (no outer ear incision as others have had) Ordinary things sound really, really loud! But a small price to pay to be on my way to hearing normally again.
So far, I can't wait to get the right one done!
Hi All.

I'm post-surgery day six. I've had very few problems with nausea or pain. I've been managing on ibuprofen alone because I'm not crazy about anything stronger. The packing comes out in a little over a week and I have to say I can't wait :) I've got a pretty constant ringing in my ear, but nothing that is driving me batty. Slight metallic taste, but it isn't interfering with my love of food and drink, which I was worried about. I was pretty dizzy the first couple of days, especially the first morning after surgery, but I started driving yesterday with no problems. I still have some dizziness, but it is kinda fun now that I'm used to it. If you've been on a cruise and know that very, very slight rolling motion of the ship, you know where I am. My doctor said no lifting anything heavier than a phone book, no bending, straining, coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing, etc. for 7-10 days. And though he hasn't seen me, I'm cleared to fly across the country next week even before the packing comes out. After reading some posters' stories about not being able to fly for three months, I'm a little worried. But I've asked the doctor four times if he's sure it is okay to fly and he says I'll have no problems.

I have a quick question about activity levels for anyone post-surgery, though. I'm a 60-mile-a-week distance runner and I'm anxious to get back to running. The doctor said to walk and/or ride the stationary bike at a sensible pace for the first 7-10 days, which implies I can run after that, right? I started riding yesterday and walking on the treadmill. Anyone have any advice about when I might be safe to start running? My gut says to wait until I see the doctor to get the packing out, but that seems like a lifetime from now.

Thanks so much.
Hi all,

Thank you all for posting your stories. They are all so positive and are giving me lots of hope for my recovery. I am a 28 year old who just had a stapedectomy on my right ear yesterday. I think surgery went really well. When I woke up from the anesthesia I could hear more than I previously could. A few hours later the hearing dropped significantly, i guess from the swelling and fluid. The pain has been minimal and I haven't been very dizzy. The one thing that is bothering me a bit is the ringing in my ears. It seems when I move my head left to right or up and down, the frequency of the ringing changes. I hope this will heal with time. I've also had a slight metallic taste in the left side of my tongue.

My packing will come out at my follow up visit a week from tomorrow. The doctor said that I'll be able to fly 2 weeks after surgery. He also said that lifting shouldn't cause any problems either, as I have a physical job(I work with wine and lift cases at time).

Even though I can't hear too well overall in the operated ear, I have been using it to talk on my cell phone. I have it at medium sound instead of high, which is a 2 level difference. Overall, I'm feeling really positive about what the future holds for my hearing.

Also, I received a video of my operation that I watched this morning. Did any of you receive one of these? It was so neat to be able to see what was done after reading about it so much. I even saw the doctor open my ear lobe and remove the tissue he put into the middle ear by the prosthesis. It was absolutely crazy to see the laser and smoke in my ear, the removal of the stapes, and the attaching of the prostheses.

-Matt
Melissa,

You'll probably feel a bit out of it and off balance, but if you get someone else to drive you should be able to bear it. I was ok the day after surgery, just quite a bit dizzy when moving. You've been through this before, so you know to take it slow, move your head slowly and don't try to overdo it. Just being there will make it worth it.

Good news on my progress - the heartbeat was gone today! I woke up this morning to a screech in my ear, like someone opening a creaking old door. And after this I noticed there was no more loud heartbeat going on in my ear. All I hear now is a slight wind sound - it's wonderfully quiet in my head!

I also had my one week follow up with doctor. He vacuumed out most of the packing, but left some in to protect the graft he had to do to close my ear drum. There was no pain in removing the packing as some people have mentioned, but the loud vacuum sound did freak me out a bit. I kept imagining it suctioning on to my ear drum and pulling it apart - my own paranoia obviously, since it went smoothly.

I hope your surgery goes smoothly!

Monica
Hi everyone, thought would chime in and give my story too. :wave:

I too have just had my 2nd stapedectomy. This time to fix my left ear. I had the right one done back in '99. The first operation went very well and restored my hearing quite a bit. I went in on March 19th and Dr. said that everything went well. Surgery took about 90 minutes, but the doctor said it was normal for it to take that long because of my OI (osteogenesis imperfecta). The OI kind of complicates everything because the bones can be incredible thick, brittle, and/or broken. The doctor says he has done over 1000 stapedectomies and 100's with people with OI. So hopefully i will have a good chance at getting most of my hearing back to atleast a somewhat normal range.

I am now on post op day 5, and seem to be feeling the usual effect as most of the people here have mentioned. I can't wait to get the packing out of my ear, because during the first surgery the doctor didn't pack my ear with anything and I noticed the results immediately, when he was scratching the pillow and the sound was driving me nuts!:dizzy: Hopefully at my next appointement 3/27 the packing will come out.

One thing I have noticed, that i didn't see posted in the 20 some odd page i read this morning or i very well could have missed it, is that my own voice seems incredibly loud in my head. Has anyone else experienced this?

This seems to be a great board, just wish i had found it alot sooner.
Hey all... well last friday (post op day 16 i think) I had most of the packing removed. there was still about 10% in there but I was sent home to use the drops twice a day to dissolve the rest.

On the way to that appointment I heard a bunch of rapid snapping and popping and immediately after I could hear everything, despite the packing. It was very exciting! At the appointment when he was vaccuuming out the packing that loud sound pretty much made it so I couldn't hear again. And my, was I DIZZY :dizzy: after the packing came out. Dizziest I've been. The Dr. said that was normal due to the suction effect on the ear drum. I did pretty well with the tuning fork. I heard almost every sound, every pitch in my operated ear but not in my unoperated ear. I was a little concerned when he put it on my forehead and I could only hear on my unoperated ear but he explained that's a good thing. Since my unoperated ear still has otosclerosis, the bones are fixed and that's why I'm hearing it on the unoperated side more.

Today is day 23 post op for me. For about a week I completely felt normal and back to myself. but I've had a wicked cold and the buzziness feeling is back. But I'm congested everywhere (even my sinuses) and that's probably what's throwing me off. I'm pretty sure I got all the packing out as the last few days the drops just run clear and there's nothing in my ear in the morning any more. I still have two stitches that haven't dissolved and they're driving me batty. I keep forgetting they're there and accidentally scratch them. My tongue continues to play tricks on me. feels like an absense of taste unless I eat something salty, then it's a sweet taste. The metalic taste has come a few times but not often. I've told my husband I'm not going to have my other ear done until this is resolved, I think it would drive me nuts to have it all over my mouth.

Hearing wise, I know i'm hearing more though I do know there's still room for improvement. However, I dont know how much of that is my unoperated ear. The TV volume is down much more now. I hear the heater every morning (i never heard that before ) and my alarm clock now wakes me up. I'm not saying "what?" as much anymore and my kids have been surprised a few times saying, "you heard that?" when I respond to something they're saying from the other room.

Aside from a few things, I haven't really had too many "wow that's loud" experiences. However, the movie theater is LOUD! I do have the opening and closing but it's very subtle for me. There are times when I hear things loud and crystal clear and other times where I notice it's quieter and not as much clarity. My heart beat tinnitus is gone more than it's here which is nice. Before surgery it was always present and loud. I have a new sound in my ear, it's not loud so I can tune it out but it sounds almost like a piece of paper attached to a fan that's blowing.

I'm looking forward to hearing more and more!

I go back in 3 weeks and will post again then.

Oh and one more thing, I get so irritated when sitting in the car and someone gets in after me. The door slamming seriously bugs me...its not the sound though, more like the pressure ...anyone else experience that?
First of all, I want to begin by thanking everyone who have posted their experiences on this thread. It was a big help to me to read what others have gone through before I had this procedure done on myself. :)

I had my stapedectomy performed on Wednesday, April 11 at the UPMC Montifore hospital in Oakland, which is part of University of Pittsburgh medical complex. I was originally scheduled to have this done at noon, but my doctor changed it to 8:00 that morning. I guess this was better since I had to fast after midnight. Getting up at 4:00 a.m. and being at the hospital by 5:30 was pretty rough. Especially with not getting a good night sleep.

I went through the usual prep period of answering questions and having the IV put into my the back of my right hand. My anesthiesiaologist (did I spell that right?) was wonderful! I felt almost nothing at all when she set this up in my hand. After awhile she gave me a shot into the IV to help me relax. The doctor came over and spoke to me about what she was about to do once again on my ear, and marked the ear to be operated on. She explained that she was going to do a vein graft from the back of my left hand to place in my ear to help the prostetic device be more acceptable with my body. She was very easy talk to and always listened to all of my questions and concerns. Before too long I was out of it.

Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. Very groggy and really dizzy. I threw up twice from the anesthesia, which was not much and mostly spitle. The nurse told me this wasn't unusual at all. Especially since this was only the second time I had ever been under during an operation. The first was when I was three for my tonsils. (Yep...I've been lucky so far) The doctor asked me how I felt and asked me to follow her finger as she moved it around. I had quite a bit of trouble doing this. Like I said, I was very groggy and really dizzy. She said I might have to spend the night if I didn't come out of the recovery better in a few hours.

My wonderful wife came in to be with me while I was sleeping it off. She was my rock throughout this whole ordeal. After awhile I was given something drink and ate some crackers, which was wonderful! The doctor checked me over and said everything went really well, and was a classic case for this procedure. I need to go see her in one week to have the packing removed and have the ear checked.

I know some of you have mentioned having a sore throat after the surgery. I do too. I found out that it's mostly from the breathing tube they put down your throat during the surgery. I'm on my third day and it's still bothers me a little.

I went to the bathroom and had the IV removed, got dressed and was wheeled out to my car in the parking lot, which was thankfully really close by. My wife drove me home and helped me into our house. Where I selpt most of the day and night. I was exteremely exhausted!

My doctor called me the next morning to see how I was. I must say that I am very surprised at how well I feel! With the exception of walking to the bathroom in the recovery room, I have not really been that dizzy at all. I've had almost no pain at all. With the exception of a mild earache type of feeling which is not bad at all. So far, things have been much better than I could have hoped for. However, I've been really tired.

I've replaced the cotton ball on the outside of my ear twice already. Once each day. It's had some blood and fluid on it which I assume is to be expected.

I can't really hear much out of my operated ear, which I guess is to be expected with all of the packing in there. I still have the ringing and buzzing from the tinnutis I had before the surgery. I guess I'll learn more when the packing is removed and they can look inside and make sure everything is okay.

I just hope and pray the rest of my recovery goes as well as is has so far.
First of all, I want to begin by thanking everyone who have posted their experiences on this thread. It was a big help to me to read what others have gone through before I had this procedure done on myself. :)

I had my stapedectomy performed on Wednesday, April 11 at the UPMC Montifore hospital in Oakland, which is part of University of Pittsburgh medical complex. I was originally scheduled to have this done at noon, but my doctor changed it to 8:00 that morning. I guess this was better since I had to fast after midnight. Getting up at 4:00 a.m. and being at the hospital by 5:30 was pretty rough. Especially with not getting a good night sleep.

I went through the usual prep period of answering questions and having the IV put into my the back of my right hand. My anesthiesiaologist (did I spell that right?) was wonderful! I felt almost nothing at all when she set this up in my hand. After awhile she gave me a shot into the IV to help me relax. The doctor came over and spoke to me about what she was about to do once again on my ear, and marked the ear to be operated on. She explained that she was going to do a vein graft from the back of my left hand to place in my ear to help the prostetic device be more acceptable with my body. She was very easy talk to and always listened to all of my questions and concerns. Before too long I was out of it.

Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. Very groggy and really dizzy. I threw up twice from the anesthesia, which was not much and mostly spitle. The nurse told me this wasn't unusual at all. Especially since this was only the second time I had ever been under during an operation. The first was when I was three for my tonsils. (Yep...I've been lucky so far) The doctor asked me how I felt and asked me to follow her finger as she moved it around. I had quite a bit of trouble doing this. Like I said, I was very groggy and really dizzy. She said I might have to spend the night if I didn't come out of the recovery better in a few hours.

My wonderful wife came in to be with me while I was sleeping it off. She was my rock throughout this whole ordeal. After awhile I was given something drink and ate some crackers, which was wonderful! The doctor checked me over and said everything went really well, and was a classic case for this procedure. I need to go see her in one week to have the packing removed and have the ear checked.

I know some of you have mentioned having a sore throat after the surgery. I do too. I found out that it's mostly from the breathing tube they put down your throat during the surgery. I'm on my third day and it's still bothers me a little.

I went to the bathroom and had the IV removed, got dressed and was wheeled out to my car in the parking lot, which was thankfully really close by. My wife drove me home and helped me into our house. Where I selpt most of the day and night. I was exteremely exhausted!

My doctor called me the next morning to see how I was. I must say that I am very surprised at how well I feel! With the exception of walking to the bathroom in the recovery room, I have not really been that dizzy at all. I've had almost no pain at all. With the exception of a mild earache type of feeling which is not bad at all. So far, things have been much better than I could have hoped for. However, I've been really tired.

I've replaced the cotton ball on the outside of my ear twice already. Once each day. It's had some blood and fluid on it which I assume is to be expected.

I can't really hear much out of my operated ear, which I guess is to be expected with all of the packing in there. I still have the ringing and buzzing from the tinnutis I had before the surgery. I guess I'll learn more when the packing is removed and they can look inside and make sure everything is okay.

I just hope and pray the rest of my recovery goes as well as is has so far.
Hi everyone,

Just recovering from a stapedectomy which was done yesterday morning. Was expecting to be kept in overnight, but got out last night as I was doing ok and not too dizzy. Not too painful so far either, a bit like the pressure you get when flying but slightly more painful, but manageable with painkillers.

Not sure if hearing has improved because of the packing but I'm positive everything sounds louder than normal. I've been reading reports about metallic, or sweet taste but I seem to have a salty taste and I've also got slight numbness at the back of my tongue on right side.

If this is successful I'll be wishing I'd got it done two years ago, when I was first offered it, but I was so worried about losing what little hearing I had left in my right ear. When I reaslised my left ear was going the same way, I had to go for it.
Does anyone know how soon you can fly after this op as I stupidly forgot to ask and I'm hoping to go on holiday in 9 weeks.

Lorraine
I just wanted to say what a great help this has been for me to read everyone's experiences. I know what to expect now. I'm 4 days post-op. And I have this stuffy feeling in my ear. It would have been nice if the ENT told me he would put a packing in my ear. I never got a chance to ask him how long it would be until I hear, but now I know it will take some time.

Carol, your posts and updates have really helped. And it sounds like you're doing great!

Background: I first noticed my hearing loss when my DD (second child) would cry during the night after she was a year old. I would hear her as well through my right ear and had to lift my head to hear her. And at first I couldn't tell if it was my DS (now 4) or my DD (now 2.5). It has been about a year that I let it go. A little fearful of a surgery and what might happen afterwards, but since it was getting worse and I could hear less and less and then I had some tinnitus around Memorial day I decided to get it done.

I drove the kids to preschool this morning. I haven't had any pain, or very little since the surgery. And I had a lot of vertigo right after the surgery while I was in the recovery room, but once I was moved to a regular hospital room I didn't have any. I took it easy and layed down the whole time while in the hospital. I think I could have gone home that day, but the ENT didn't want me to deal with the kids at all and that's probably why he chose that I stay in the hospital one day. It was a mad house the day I came home from the hospital, my DH hadn't brought the kids to preschool yet and all they wanted was things from me and I just wanted to lay down. They even started jumping on my bed so I went to hide in my DS's room. Things are better everyday though. I did have a little bit of dizziness yesterday so I stayed laying down all day yesterday. Today I worked from home and feel fine. Every once in a while I'm dizzy, but not much. I find if I'm dizzy and I take a nap or lay down for while it's better. I do have a taste problem, it was metallic the first day or two, now it's just gone, nothing tastes much at all.

I go to see the ENT on Monday, 7 days post-op. I don't know if he's going to take out the packing or not, I guess I'll find out.

HA! The nurse from my doctor's office just called to check on how I'm going. And she asked if I could hear anything, huh, wonder if I'm supposed to be. She said it all sounds normal.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone posting your experiences. It's really great to know that I'm not alone in all this.
I had a stapedectomy on my left ear nearly 3 months ago.

Overall things went well - my air/bone conduction gap (the difference in hearing between listening with headphones and hearing with bone conduction) has been pretty much closed in the operated ear. I have a mixed loss – the otosclerosis (hardening/fusing of the bones) seems to have been cured but the sensaurial loss is, as expected, still there.

My hearing is much better in the operated ear. My loss has gone down from around 50db to about 20-30db. I can now get by without a hearing aid in the operated ear – which was my main hope. I can also get by without a hearing aid in either ear which is really useful in those situations where I may not be wearing a hearing aid e.g. by the pool or in bed.

I have moderate tinnitus and that has not been changed by the operation.

One thing that strikes me reading this forum is the range of experiences that people have of this operation. I wonder how much of this is down to the different procedures used by different doctors around the world. (I am in England.) I also wonder how much the experience of the doctor makes – the surgeon that did my op had done around 250 stapedectomy ops but not all surgeons are going that experienced. Some will have done many more than that.

For me the operation was done under general anaesthetic using a laser to remove the affected bones.

The prosthesis that replaced the bones in the ear was made out of titanium. I had heard that some surgeons still use stainless steel! Putting anything that is sensitive to magnets in your head seems like a very bad idea to me e.g. you could then not have an MRI scan.

I stayed in the hospital one night after the operation and then went home the following morning. Generally I felt OK but tired for a few days after the operation. I did not feel any pain so I took no painkillers. I was not given any antibiotic drops.

In the hospital I went to they also have surgeons doing the operation under a local anaesthetic. The idea of using a local anesthetic is so they can test the hearing of the operated ear while the operation is in progress so that they can check it is working before closing up!

I had no dizziness after the op and according to my surgeon I should not have expected any. (This seems to contrast with some peoples experience on these boards.) When I asked about avoiding any pressure changes, e.g. flying, sneezing, he said that the operated was just as strong as a normal ear so I didn’t need to worry about these.

About 5 days after the op I started to get really dizzy and started to feel motion sick. I went and saw the surgeon and he took the packing out of my ear. This was a few days earlier than would normally be the case. He suggested that the pressure of the packing as it swelled with blood and pressed up against the eardrum was the cause of the dizziness. The dizziness subsided within a few hours of the packing being removed but it took about 2 weeks for my balance to return to anything near normal.

Even now, nearly 3 months later my balance hasn’t entirely returned to normal. Generally it is OK but sometimes I get a distinct feeling that the world is moving even when I can see that it is not. Also if my ear pops it can feel like the world suddenly tilts and then goes back to normal. My general feeling though is that my balance is continuing to get better but it is a slow process. My tightrope walking dreams will probably have to be put on hold :-)

Once the packing was removed everything sounded incredibly loud (traffic/trains were painfully loud) and also very flat. Over the next couple of weeks I adjusted to my new hearing. The world started to sound less overpoweringly loud and much more normal, i.e. less flat. Now I can get by without a hearing aid but because of my high frequency loss I sometime use my hearing aid when watching TV. (I had my hearing aid reprogrammed once I had had my hearing test after the op.)

Good luck to everyone else who has had or is considering this operation,

Gary





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