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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

Hi -
Thanks to the healthboards for offering this forum, and thanks to all of you for posting your experiences.

I have my stapedectomy scheduled for this Friday, 11/30 in Detroit, and I've spent the last hour reading all of the posts on this thread. It has really helped me know what to expect. I am 44, female, with significant hearing loss on one side. I am an otherwise very healthy person.

I do have a few questions:

I will be having local anaesthesia. It seems most of you have used general. Will my time at the hospital be less since I am using local? My surgery is scheduled for 7am (report at 6am). What time can I expect to be released?

How soon will I be able to drive?

My son made the freshman basketball team! How soon will I be able to handle the loud gym at his games?

I am a distance runner. When can I expect to run again?

Thanks for your help. I'm sure I'll be having more specific post-op questions later, but these general things are what's on my mind right now.
Hi AF...Good Luck to you.

No one can give you solid answers to your questions but i'll tell you when I did these things:
Local - I had general so I can't answer as to how long before you go home. I went the same day so I would assume you would too.

Driving - I drove on day 8. I was ok.

Basketball games - I went after 2 weeks and it was extremely loud. The 3rd week, I put cotton in my ear and put on one of those ear warmers over it to muffle the noise. That worked well.

Running/Exercise - Doc told me not until at least week 4 or 5, but I did it at week 2 because I felt fine. Depends on the person I suppose.

Update from the doc today....

****Prosthesis slipped. (right ear)****
Revision stapedectomy will be done on Dec. 18th.
With me blowing my nose for 4 solid months...I knocked it loose. the sinus issues people. Keep sinus/allergy issues under control if at all possible.

My Left ear is fine, I was 6.5 months post op when I got clogged up. I was only 1.5 months post op with right ear and blew gently for the first few weeks. About 2.5 months post op, I started blowing as normal but evidently it was still too soon.

Doc said I could hear at times after I blew my nose because prosthesis had shifted back in place briefly while blowing and that's why the ability to hear came and went, aka "opened and closed".

So.....I get to go through all of this again.


This is Canadianboy (not "Canada boy") reporting on my day 17 post-op. Nothing of significance to report...

But, I thought I'd better reprint this previous posting by CAB1, in case any of you missed this valuable detail about each particular allergen, and their ranking order, from her allergy tests....(BTW Carol - it seems to me we likely all know that our ears, nose and throat are connected ...hence the specialist that we all went to, i.e.: "ENT".) All I'm saying is, sure, give us symptoms, causes, time frames, and some detail, even, for example, tell us how allergiies may affect our recuperation; or conversely, ask questions about all these, but this kind of detail (below) is akin to those on committees who join just to hear themselves speak! Let's just keep it to the point, shall we?:)

[QUOTE=CAB1;3216558]Hi all,

Good Luck Cat, you should start hearing everything very soon.

Update on me...

Well, I had a lovely morning.

I’ve been having major allergy/sinus trouble for about 2 years but the last 3 months, my head has been clogged and nothing helped.

so, I went and had the complete allergy test series done. I was ready for the grid on the back scratch test with 40 scratches. It wasn’t what they did. I got 39 shots/injections right under the skin in each arm.

I Passed out once and almost did a second time. Cause you know I love needles so much. A one hours test took 2.5 hours because I kept having to make them stop till I could continue.

I’m allergic to pretty much everything!

Here they are in order…

#1 Cats - i have one that sleeps with me

#2 Orrois Root – anything that is “scented” is made from this – perfumes, detergents, deodorants, makeup, candles, potpourri, etc.

#3 Dogs - I have 2.

#4 Feathers

#5 Trees – every one of them

#6 Weeds – again, all of em

#7 Grass – yup, all of em

#8 Yeast – every food in the world contains yeast

#9 Dust/Mites

#10 Fungus

#11 Mold

At least it explains why I’ve been so darn sick.

Long story short – 2 shots – 2 times a week for 5 weeks to get from 1st dose up to “maintenance” dose of the drugs.

Then 2 shots once a week for life. (They said I can give these to myself – HEHE, YA RIGHT!)

Hopefully I’ll rejoin the living/breathing world again. And I won’t be so clogged up anymore. That way my new right ear, which hears perfect when it’s not clogged up, will work all the time.

More later,

Hi, all.

I am 15 days post op.

Carol, I'm sorry to hear about you having to do this a third time, but at least you know what to expect and that is half the battle. Best wishes on your next one! Do you get a discount on the "third" ear? :confused:

AF, I had general anesthesia, but left the hospital four hours after my surgery was complete - not exactly a long recovery. They would have let me go at the two hour mark, but I was not feeling ready to leave and asked to stay for a short nap. I was back at work on Day 4, and drove myself to and from work. You'll have to see how you feel, as it seems everyone has different time frames for resolving the dizziness issues. Good luck with your surgery!

Yup, I just checked and HOLY COW....the "X" is still in the upper right corner of the screen so the ability to close anything you don't wanna read is readily available.;)

Another CAB1 random thought here...

Its amazing the others and I managed to keep this thread going for almost a year without someones input on what to post, what not to post and the order in which we must post it.:confused:


Success rates of revision stapedectomy are somewhat reduced in comparison to the original surgery. 78% vs 98%

Not a great percentage but still better than zero.

Annie - no 3rd ear discount but since my deductible is satisfied for the year, it will be $600 total for this one.
Some surgeons will give you 90% success rate for revision stapedectomy.Make sure the most experienced surgeon does it. When I went to my ENT for stapedectomy, he gave me 99% success rate. He did say his charts were evaluated over past 5 years by others without any bias. He did total stapedectomy since is most experienced in that, I looked up literature does not matter if it is stapedotomy or stapedectomy it depends on the experience of the surgeon.

Thanks for the information. My doc said "I CAN fix it" so he's very confident. I just did tons of reading up on it and the average I found was around 78%.

I agree that it depends on the surgeon. I asked him if he was going to do a revision or a full. He said he would decide when he got in there and would do what was needed to fix me up.

Thanks again, I do feel better knowing the average I found was wrong. :):)

Carol, I am sorry to hear about your ear.... I hope everything goes good for you... did they get your allergies under control? Got any more lists for us? I LOVE LISTS;)

I just wanted to say my peace then I will shut up... Canada boy you need to chill out.. in 72 pages and almost 1 year I never read anything that annoyed me. Until your first post.. when you started making rules.. EVERYTHING else has been helpful.. even knowing ever single allergy that Carol has.... Maybe it made her feel a little better to tell us why she was having trouble hearing. Maybe some people (from reading all the posts) feel as though they know or at least have a connection with Carol and other posters and want to hear all of this.... And if I remember correctly you just about wrote a novel on your first post.... I will now get off of my soap box. Canadianboy I do hope you are feeling better and that your vertigo has diminished..

As for me I feel great... I was a little stuffed up today so it seemed a little harder to hear but I can still hear better in my operated ear (left ear) than in my right ear. The right was my good ear now its my bad ear.... strange... I can't wait to have another hearing test...

more later,

Carol, I, too, am sorry to hear about your ear. I hope all goes well.

A weird thing happened to me tonight. My operation was 10/19 and it's been over a month. My restrictions were lifted at my one month post-op visit. Aside from tinnitus, I am hearing much better. But tonight for the first time since the few days after surgery, I was out shopping and kept getting bouts of dizziness if I turned my head too quick or looked down then up quickly.

Did anyone experience dizziness after weeks of feeling great??!?!!? :(
Hey Moderator2...



Juliep..yes I did have dizzies after a few weeks of feeling fine. Hang in there, it will go away again soon. I found that if I did too much during the day the dizzies returned. Take it a little slower, that should help.

Annie..I did have a couple of times when sounds were overwhelming. Everyone said it was a panic attack. Once was at the mall and once at my kids school (boy was that one embarrassing). Both times I could hear everything and it was cool, then it got louder and louder then WHAM...I couldn't leave the area fast enough and get to my car where it was quiet.

The brain has to learn again how to process sounds, meaning which ones to keep and which ones to discard, etc. Ease in to noisy type situations is what the doc told me.

Did you have hearing aids before surgery? If so, remember the first time you went to a noisy place with them in? Its the same thing only before you could turn it down or OFF when sounds drove you nuts.

The great thing is now you can hear, the bad thing is you no longer have an on/off button.

Hang in there you will get used to the "noise" quickly.

More Later,

Carol- Thanks for your reply. I've learned so much from your experiences and others here on this board. I can't believe my surgery is on Friday....It doesn't seem real that it is going to happen. I'm dealing with the logistics of everything right now...hotel (It's two hours away and a six am report!), kids schedules, etc.

Sorry to hear about your need for a revision. Hope that this time the prosthesis will stay in place. I am a bit concerned about this, especially with my recovery during the winter months in cold and flu season. Plus, I have had a low-level sinus issue all fall (allergies?) with my nose clear, but a sense of fluid in my sinuses at times. I've taken Claritin and/or Sudafed at times that seems to clear it up, but I'm concerned that this fluid will complicate things with my surgery and recovery. I am debating whether I should take some this week to ensure that my sinuses are dry when I go in on Friday.

Any advice is welcome as I get ready for "the big day".

Thanks again!


My pre-op instructions were to stop taking any medications except basically ibuprofin 5 days prior to surgery...Please consult with your doctor asap since your surgery is in 4 days before you take anything.

Also ask your doctor when you can begin taking then after surgery. I would certainly start taking them as soon as doc says you can just to be safe and keep those sinus' clear.

More later,

...and thanks to everyone for you concern and well wishes about me having my right ear re-done.

At least now, I'm an old pro at this and should be able to deal with all the post-op stuff better than the first couple of times :)

And nope, I don't get a 3rd ear discount. This one will cost me about $600 since my deductible is met and maximum out of pocket for the year is almost reached.

More later,

I was given a long list of medications that I had to keep away from for 21 days prior to surgery. These were all containing asprin, ibuprofin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). These drugs interfere with normal blood clotting. For pain I can take tylenol.

I've taken some sudafed-PE in the last couple of weeks. My husband, who is a physician, didn't think that would be a problem. I hope he didn't steer me wrong!

I'm supposed to get a call today or tomorrow to do my presurgical history. I'll be sure to ask about this then.
I'm OK...I was told that as long as there was no asprin or NSAIDs in it, it is OK for me to take the medicine. Whew!

I was given some advise before my surgery by someone that posted on this thread and I think that is what contributed to my getting better so fast. He told me that the doc told him not to lay on operated ear for 2 days and he didn't do it for 5 days and he slept as much as possible.

My doc kept me in the hospital overnight. I couldn't get out of bed and when I went home my husband wouldn't let me get out of bed. I slept a lot for the next 2 days and by day 5 post op I was almost 100%... Still a little dizzy... The worst thing that happened was I got very nauses the day after surgery. I think I just tried to do everything to fast.. I paid for it the rest of the day by throughing up everytime I got out of bed.... next day I was fine. I understand not everyone has someone like my husband to wait on them hand and foot and my kids are grown and gone but just get all the rest you can.

Hope all goes well for you. I will be waiting to hear from you after your surgery.

Carol- When did you say your surgery was? Is the same doc doing it that did the other ear? I will be keeping you in my thoughts I know it will all work out.... and I wanted to thank you for all your posts they really helped me to make a decision to get the stapedectomy done and now I am looking forward to doing the other ear.

talk to you all later

Hi all,

AF -I'm glad they said you could take the sinus meds. I can't stress how important it is to keep on top of sinus issues for the full 3 months after surgery.

Vickie - Yes, same doc is doing the surgery on December 18th. And you are very welcome. I've seen a lot of people posting on here that were like me...scared but excited at the same time and anxious about the outcome. Patience is not easy when something as important and life altering as your hearing is involved. I'm glad it help you and so many others, thats why I still post.

I am going to ramble for a minute, bear with me....or just jump to the next post if you don't want to read this.

When I quit posting for a few weeks it was because my ear had gone downhill and everything we tried didn't help so I was in an extremly negative frame of mind. I still read everyones posts each day.. but...well it was best that I said nothing. It had felt so good to be in the 99% of successful surgeries, then the drop to the 1% failure bracket almost drove me nuts since I was able to hear so well for those couple of months.

Everyone - I just want to point out that my both of my surgeries were successful. It was the major sinus issues which caused me to blow and blow my nose just to be able to function.....that knocked the prosthesis out of place [B]because I didn't wait the full 3 months before blowing hard[/B]. It was unavoidable because I seriously couldn't breath, sleep, eat, etc.

I completely trust my doc and the abilities that God gave him. If it's meant to be for me to hear then great. If God has other plans for me then I will accept it and move on. Oddly enough, one thing I always wanted to learn was sign language. I have known how to sign the alphabet since I was about 10 and over the years learned how to sign a few words, phrases, etc. I found a book on signing just this past Saturday in my moms garage (of all places) that had been there for 20 years. I can't tell you how many times I have walked right by it and never noticed it. It was like it almost jumped off the shelf into my hands. I had to pick it up and start reading. It made me eager to learn and I have had my nose buried in it since and have been practicing. I leave the book on the kitchen counter at night and every day when I get home from work one of my kids has moved it..?..?..?

Who knows? Maybe I have been in both the hearing and non hearing world for a reason. I am able to truly understand how hard of hearing and deaf people feel and would make a good teacher if I mastered signing..for children maybe? All I know is that something lead me to that book on Saturday - the same day I was at my all time low -mentally- about loosing the hearing again in the right ear. Reading it really cheered me up. Hmm, I dunno.....:angel:

While I was typing this post and no, I'm not kidding, my youngest (11) just said, "hey!" Bless her lil heart, she had been sneaking the book after school and has learned how to sign the alphabet. Then she said "I will be able to still talk to you if it doesn't work!" Yes...I teared up.

My left ear is still working like a champ and I can hear so signing is not a must but I have this overwhelming feeling that I am supposed to learn signing....for some reason.

Ok, I'm done rambling, I think.

More later,

You still have good chance of recovering your hearing. How did your doctor determine if the prosthesis is displaced. Did he do a CAT scan?
CAB1, Thanks for your reply about the dizzies!!! I haven't had an episode since Monday so I'm hoping it was an isolated incident:confused:

Well, sorry my post is so short, I'm at work today and must actually try to get work done :D

Have a great day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm glad the dizzies stopped for you. How's your hearing? Is it still overly loud or is it calming down a bit yet?

He did hearing test, pressure test and the tuning fork thing. [U]All showed same indicators as pre-op did about it being a stapes issue only. [/U]

The "bone" hearing is still great which means that the stapes (or in my case the prosthesis) isn't functioning properly most of the time. He said that occurs when one moves out of place. I also told him how I could "start" my hearing for a few seconds and then it would stop again (until the last 4 weeks). This normally occurred when blowing my nose, yawning big or sneezing, all of which change the pressure in the ear just enough to move the prosthesis.

If the ear looked abnormal (ear drum either inflated or retracted) that would indicate an ET issue but the ear looks normal. Also, I no longer feel like I have pressure on the ear and that it needs to be "popped". That is another indicator of ET issues. He was looking in my ear for what seemed like forever.

If the tests had shown no "bone" hearing, then it could not be fixed - ever. So basically put its like I never had surgery and I hear a little worse now that before surgery because of the changes made to the stapes to allow for the placement of the prosthesis.

So, process of elimination on ET issues and positive "bone" hearing tests, pressure tests and tuning fork test says its a prosthesis issue.

He also said he has seen this happen before when people get as stopped up as I was within a few weeks after surgery and end up blowing too, hard too soon.

****DON'T BLOW YOUR NOSE***** (I'm talking to myself).

More later,

2 weeks post op.

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with Otosclerosis this year after 5 years of progressive hearing loss on my right side and constant tinnitus. I felt very blessed when I found out there was something that could actually be done to help my hearing. I had the surgery done 2 weeks ago and wanted to share my experience.

The doctor who performed my surgery was Dr. Roberson from the California Ear Institute. He has performed this surgery for 30 years and did an amazing job. I was given a local anesthetic and was awake during the whole procedure. I have to say it was a bit scary going through that hour, but as soon as he put the prosthetic in I could hear again. It was so amazing I started to cry! I’m not sure my exact hearing loss, but it was enough that I couldn’t talk on the phone on my affected ear.

I left the hospital a few hours later and was fairly dizzy and out of it. I did have some pain and wished I had taken my Vicoden before I left the hospital. I got home and rested for two full days doing nothing but going to the bathroom and watching every episode of Sex and the City. I got the packing taken out just 5 days post surgery, which seems a bit early compared to most on this board. It came out no problem and as soon as it was removed I was shocked with my hearing capacity. The ruffling of paper and the sound of my own voice were totally overwhelming. It felt like I was talking into a microphone with reverb on it for a few days.

I have taken the 3 full weeks off of work and am thankful I did. I seem to only have a few hours of energy a day and then I crash. I’ve been catching up on my reading and learning Spanish. All the things you never have time to do when you are living your busy life….. My advice to everyone is to take as much time as you possibly can afford.

Over the last couple of days I have noticed the opening/closing sensation that some of you have talked about. It’s driving me crazy!! I can control it by breathing out of my nose quickly and it will unplug, but everytime I swallow it plugs back up again. Has anyone else been experiencing this?? If so, how long has it lasted. Like anything I’m getting used to it but I wonder what the cause is. Does it have something to do with the eardrum healing maybe??? It sounds like a static radio when loud noise comes through. Very strange.

Also, I wanted to say that the tinnitus that I’ve had for 5 years definitely got worse right after surgery, but I think this was due to the inflammation. It has gotten better over the last week so don’t panic if this has happened to you. I’m crossing my fingers for complete remission.

One last thing for all the ladies on the board. I was scared to wash my hair for a good week after surgery (8 days actually-gross). I used the old baby powder in my hair and brushed it through trick, it works wonders!! It gets rid of all the grease. When I finally did wash my hair I cupped it with a plastic cup and put the Vasoline covered cotton ball in my ear. Seems to work really well.

Happy recovering to you all. :)
I still have a strange feeling in my head, I am one month post op. My hearing is much better than pre op. Tinnitus is worse on some days but much improved on other days. Can any one relate to this?

CAB I doubt if there would be anything like deaf culture in future except when the nerve (aucostic) or brain is damaged since technology is so advanced I would not worry about going deaf.
I had my surgery today!

My surgery was at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan (Detroit area). Since I live on the west side of the state, my husband and I stayed at the Westin Southfield last night at a great hosptial rate of $69! What a comfortable bed!

I had to report at 6am for the 7am surgery. The staff was very efficient and had me ready ahead of time. I had a "local" anaesthic, but I was out for the surgery and don't remember a thing. I vaguely remember them wheeling me to the operating room and then I was waking up in recovery. I guess the meds were such that they can bring you out of it quickly, the surgeon can ask you questions, and then they bring you back down. I guess they did this to me, but I don't remember any of it. Dr. Zappia did a great job and told my husband that my stapes was indeed affected and did a classic stapedetomy. He made a small incision behind my ear to get tissue for the grafting. Haven't looked at that yet.

I had no dizziness or pain when in recovery. I just had to go to the bathroom and was very thirsty. They gave me some food (grapes, cheese and crackers...yum!) and I was feelling just fine. They released me by 10am! We had plans to go to my brother's house near Ann Arbor (my husband has a meeting Saturday in Detroit) but I was feeling so good we decided to just go back home. The two hour drive was fine, and we stopped at Panera's to have a salad. I am resting at home, which is so nice, and I'll be in my own bed.

Right now I am just very thirsty. I have cotton in my ear, and at times I hear some crinkling/crackling sounds along with my heartbeat. Nothing bad though. My doctor said that I can take the cotton ball out tomorrow but just to keep the ear dry. I go back to the Michigan Ear Institute next week for my post-op evaluation.

Maybe my meds just haven't worn off yet, but I feel much better than I anticipated. I will take it easy, per the advice of several on this board, and not overdo it.

So far so good!

4th day post-op.

My recovery seems to be going well. I have not had any dizzyness at all, which really surprised me after reading others' experiences. My doctor said that I could remove my cotton ball in my ear and dressing on the incision behind my ear after 24 hours, and I did. I must still have some of that gel packing inside my ear because it still feels full. I can see my two stitches behind my ear and that incision looks fine. I've had some drainage from the ear canal, just a drop or so of bloody fluid once and a while. I'm taking antibiotics and was given tylenol with codeine as needed. I've taken the tyenol/codeine each night and only a couple of times during the day, when I've felt a headache or a little pain coming on. Yesterday I woke up feeling great after an eleven hour sleep. I spent part of the morning just doing regular stuff, making breakfast, straightening up, etc. Then my son put the tv on pretty loud, and my husband started vacuuming. Even though my operated ear is totally plugged, I couldn't stand the noise, and retreated into my room, took some meds and fell asleep! Maybe it was sensory overload or something. I am just finding that too much noise really bothers me. I'm afraid of what it will be like when the packing is gone finally! I have an appointment back at my doctor's in Detroit on Friday. I haven't driven yet, but I think I could just fine. It's nice to have my family back at school/work today so I can have the house to myself in quiet! I'm not sure what I am going to do about my son's first freshman basketball game tomorrow. I'm debating wearing some ear plugs and toughing it out. I'll see how today and tomorrow go...
One more thing to add....My taste sensation has definately been affected. Salty things taste very strange to me, and at times my tongue feels numb. It's a very weird sensation, and one that I hope will go away soon. It's strange to move food around in my mouth and have it taste different depending on where it touches my tongue. How long will this last?
Hi all,

Hang in there. The strange taste issue lasted about 3 months for me each time but it doesn't stay as strong as it is at first.

The overly loud will calm down at around the 4 week mark too.

Let us know how you deal with the noise at the game if you go.

Update on me...
I'm just waiting for Dec. 18th...very impatiently I might add.

More later,

Hey, guys! It took me a while to find you all with the closed thread.

I am officially counting down the days. My surgery is scheduled for Thursday, December 13th. I am really starting to anticipate the changes to my world. I have been really focused on listening -- what can I hear, what can I not hear -- to try to be able to remember what it was like before the surgery. It may sound strange, but I think it will help me be appreciative of any progress.

I am planning to take two days off from work -- Thursday and Friday. And based on what I see on some other threads, I am going to arrange some rides for the week I come back.

I'll post again after the surgery.

Hey there,

I posted a few days my full story and wanted to give an update.
I"m on day 20 post op. I had written the other day with my concern about the opening and closing feeling in my ear and how it was popping in and out of hearing fine and then sounding like a distorted speaker. I'm happy to report that it has completely subsided.
It began happening when I started having a really bad allergy attack. Because I couldn't blow my nose, I sniffed it all into my head and it ended up plugging my eustachian tubes. The symptoms I was feeling were symptoms of Eustachian tube disfunction. After a few days of keeping up on my allergy medicine the symptoms went away.
I know this has been said on this board a few times but i"m going to say it again. If you have any sort of sinus issues....keep them under control while your ear is healing.
Besides that I feel great. My energy is back and I get to work out tomorrow. Yippee!!
Take care and be well.
Hi Again-

I am on day 6 post op. Well, I braved the elements and went to my son's basketball game yesterday! My ear is still plugged up, but occasionally loud noises bother me, so I decided to bring ear plugs with me to the game. I'm glad I did, because it was nice to put them in (and a fleece headband as well!) when the gym got too loud. For most of the game, I was fine, but towards the end, when the score was close and the dads around me got yelling, I had to move over to a part of the bleachers that wasn't quite so loud and put my hands to my ears. Luckily, this was the freshman game and there were large stretches of bleachers empty! It seemed that certain low frequencies of voices caused that "reverb" sensation in my ear and it drove me nuts! All in all, it wasn't too bad. I think it will be worse when the gel packing is removed from my ear canal and the sound is free and clear to get to my new stapes. Once home after the game, I was pretty tired and the rushing sound of my heartbeat in my ears was the loudest it's been since my surgery. Not sure if it was related to the game or not. I hadn't taken any pain meds all day and decided to take some just before bed to see if it would help the rushing sound and to help me feel better. It did and I slept very well. (They lost the game, by the way...:()

Now I'm looking forward to my doctors appointment at the Michigan Ear Insititute on Friday. I have to drive two hours to get there and we are supposed to get a bunch more snow that morning, on top of the three inches we got today. Hoping it won't be an issue. I'm anxious to see if my new ear is working or not!

Alexis, glad to hear the popping went away! I'll try to keep on top of my own sinus issues. So far so good.

Pressed26 and Carol- Good luck on your upcoming surgeries. It's tough having to wait around, I know. It'll be here before you know it.
It's been a week and a day since my surgery. I went for my post-op appointment at the Michigan Ear Institute yesterday and all went well. (Drove myself the two hours there and back again, so really feeling great.) My doctor said all looks good, and he removed the gel packing in my ear canal with a little vacuum. It was loud! He said there was still packing behind the ear drum that will dissolve/drain on its own over the next few weeks. I am still to keep water out of the ear and not exercise or lift over 7-10 pound for another two weeks. After that, I am free to do all that. I don't have to go back to see him until February, when they will do another hearing test to guage my improvement.

Walking out of the office, I could already sense a change without the packing. Sounds were louder and more sharp. At my son's basketball game last night, I could handle all the noise just fine, with the exception of when the band played during the varsity game. Then, I just plugged my ear and it was fine. I just noticed some of that "reverb" occasionally, but overall, it was better than it was at the game on Tuesday.

All in all, I am very excited! I think it will be interesting to see how it feels as this middle ear dries up and I start to hear more and more! I really feel fine, only one week after surgery. I've been very lucky to not have any adverse symptoms or problems. Hope this will continue!

Oh, I asked my doctor what my implant was made out of. Mine is an alloy of surgical stainless steel and platinum. I guess it is not magnetic, so will not affect any MRI I might need to have or set off any metal detectors.

I feel I have a little sinus drainage, so I took some Claratin and Sudafed PE this morning. Carol's advice on staying on top of the sinus issues I am taking to heart. I figured it wouldn't hurt drying up my middle ear as well and maybe progress my hearing improvement a little faster.

Day 25 Post op

Well, the distortion is back, but without the opening and closing. My allergies are under control so I know that isn't the issue. I think I still must have fluid in my ear, it feels plugged and I can sense something there when I lie down. Patience!!! I know I have a long road to go but I just feel like my body is ready for this to be healed and my ear isn't following suit.

I had a bit of a panic attack the other day thinking that the distortion will never go away....but after going back and reading these posts over and over I realize that it's definitely a common thing. So I"m just avoiding loud noise as much as possible and relaxing.

Other than the distortion I haven't noticed much else. Maybe a bit of tension in the side of my face. I think I'm sort of holding stiff to protect the ear from anything. Also there has been some congestion and some sinus drainage. A bit of dizziness too. But.......I can hear out of the ear, which is amazing every day. I just have to remember the end result is going to be so worth it!

I go a week from today for my first hearing test and I guess the doctor is going to look me over and tell me if I can start getting water in the ear. I've been advised against wearing earplugs until I see the doc. I've been doing light exercising but nothing too crazy. Better safe than sorry. Also, the nurse said that very LIGHT blowing of my nose is ok. I"m not sure about flying but I"ll keep you posted as to what he says.

Take care everyone,

43 day post op
Hearing improved to almost 90%. Hearing distortion improving. Improved tinnitus. Still minimal unsteadiness, much better than 15 days ago. No ear fullness. Since I do not have ENT appointment till another 10 days, keeping ear dry. Except exercise I am back to normal. Never had opening and closing.
Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted. I'm coming up on the 2 month mark since surgery (surgery was Oct. 19th). I do hear better, but I do not go for a hearing test until February. My tinnitus is not better and that has me totally bummed out!!! :mad:

Anyone out there have no improvement in the ringing or is it normal at almost 8 weeks post op to still have the ringing??? :confused: I can hear MUCH better so I thought for sure the ringing would lessen or go away.

I would love to hear anyone's experience with this. Thanks!!
HI all...

Good Luck tomorrow Pressed! Let us know how it goes.

It good to "hear" all of you are hearing better.

Juliep - I never had tinnitis until after the prosthesis in the right ear slipped so I can't offer any time frame for you on that one.

Laxmi - You are over the hard part now. Every day will get better. Distortion will completely disappear. One day you will say.."wow, i just notice sounds are really clear". Hehe. That will be a very sweet day for you.

AF - MRI's are fine. I had one after the 2nd ear surgery. No problems but it was scarey until it was actually scanning and I felt no pain. Then I calmed down.

Alexis - Please be care with the "light" blowing of the nose. My doc also said it was ok to do so I did. But evidently his definition of light blowing and mine were different. Thats why my prosthesis never really healed well (attached good)..then I moved on to "normal" blowing at the 14 week post op mark..and blew it right out of place. I don't wanna scare you but want to make you aware that I was as careful as I could be but still managed to screw it up.

5 more days till I go for stapedectomy revision on the right ear. Left ear is still doing great.

More later,

CAB1, how did your prosthesis slip?? When that happened did you notice hearing loss again? How did you know it slipped? I doubt mine has slipped as my hearing is actually better. I had the tinnitus before so I guess there is no guarantee it will go away. I guess I'd rather have my hearing back and somehow deal with the tinnitus.

Look forward to your reply--thanks!!

(sorry all, I don't know how to type short responses). hehe.

The hearing in my right ear was great until week 11 or so. Then the opens and closes started again. At the 14 week post-op mark I was still having open and closes pretty bad as well as a major sinus infection/issue. The morning of my hearing test I couldn't hear jack on the way there. I sneezed right before I got to docs office (and ear "opened again") and all the sudden hear pretty good again. About an hour after the hearing test the hearing shut down again.

I thought it was because of the sinus crap and that my ear was blocked. I went through 3 months of constant issues and being completely clogged up because of allergies, etc. BLOW BLOW BLOW the nose, lots of different medications, etc...and nothing seemed to help. I could get unclogged for a few hours at a time but the hearing never "opened" again. All of this was done at an allergy/sinus/asthma doc.

Finally the week of Thanksgiving, my head was completely clear for a week....but I still could not hear anything out of the right ear. This led me back to the ear doc/surgeon. I told him that I could understand not being able to hear during all that time because of being clogged up but why can't I hear now??

He did a battery of tests and said based on the results and the way the eardrum looked, etc., that the prosthesis had to have slipped out of place. It's not an ET problem. My "bone" hearing is still great so that points to the stapes (prosthesis). He said its just one of those things that happen sometime. I later confirmed this by researching how the prosthesis is "attached" and has to heal/seal afterwards. It was during the healing/sealing period that my sinus issues and negative hearing (again) all began. Blowing, sneezing, popping the ears, etc all create pressure in the inner ear and that pressure can move the prosthesis if where it's attached isn't completely healed. So the sneeze that morning moved it just enough back to the proper spot for me to hear for a while. Then it moved out of place again.

To attempt to make you understand....I wasn't just blowing my nose a couple times a day. Seriously, for 3 months straight that is all I did. Many days I went through an entire box of kleenex in one day. I missed lots of work because I simply couldn't function because I couldn't breathe. I also started staying home because I know my employees were quite tired and probably grossed out at hearing me blow and hack and gag all day long.

I had started the "light" blowing about 3 weeks after surgery and by week 10 or so I had to blow "hard" to breathe. Apparently....that is when I "blew" it.

My LEFT ear which I had a stapedectomy done on in January 07 is fine. My RIGHT ear that was done in May 07 is the one that got screwed up and is being done again on Dec. 18th, 2007. very very careful. I would hate to see someone else go thru this. It bites.

More later,

CAB1 (Carol), Thanks so much for the response!!! I have no sinus or breathing problems so I can see how blowing your nose that hard could do that, that is some serious pressure put on your ear!!! So sorry to hear what you're going through!

Sorry too that my responses are short!! he he:D
Day 1 Post Op

This has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

I checked in for surgery Thursday morning at 9:40, a little early. They completed the lab work and then we waited around awhile. I finally went in to surgery at 1:00. Everything went really smoothly.

The best thing to report is that I didn't have any dizziness or nausea. My tongue is numb on the left side a little. I wonder if that is like the metallic taste I have heard others talk about. The only time I have had any real pain is right after we left the hospital. I made my husband stop to get me something to drink so I could take the pain medicine. I had a little Jell-O for dinner and lots of water. Then promptly to bed.

I saw someone on the board had recommended not sleeping on the operated ear, so I thought I would try sleeping elevated a bit, more reclined than flat. I think that has helped with drainage. The first night, my ear was definitely swollen and felt very full. Today, it doesn't feel as full, and frankly not much different than before the surgery, in terms of what I hear. But that is what is amazing.

All along, I have been thinking that I was going to have a stapendotmy. Not sure if I spelled that right, but I thought they were going to leave the stapes in and attach the prothesis. But Dr. Owens has always said the procedure was for a stapendectomy and he said there wasn't anything to save. So the simple fact that I hear ANYTHING is phenomenal. He took out part of my inner ear!

Unfortunately, with the big change in the weather in Texas earlier this week, my sinuses started to act up. I didn't take a lot before the surgery because the office gave me a laundry list of stuff NOT to take prior to the surgery. I did a lot of salt water rinses, but I can tell that I need to step up the preventative measures starting tomorrow. Right now, it is just in my nose. And seeing Carol's story below, I don't want this to escalate.

Monday is my 37th birthday and my family wants to celebrate. I do, too. This is one of the best birthday presents I could have gotten. Thanks to all of you who have shared your experience with us. Your stories have helped me tremendously.

I'll continue to post with updates. Best of luck to you!
Day 3 Post Op

I am feeling great. I have only had one dizziness spell and that was in the middle of the night, in the dark. So I wasn't surprised. No real pain either. Lots of ringing in my ear, but no popping or static like others have reported. I am still very patient and trust for the best.

I have been still sleeping elevated, but I think that I'm done with that now. I don't rest as well and my back is starting to yell at me. I think I would recommend that to others as I think it made a real difference right after the surgery.

The numbness in my tongue is slowly easing. It has been weird trying to eat food when all you really feel is texture.

I went out to dinner last night with my family. We picked a quiet resturant with carpet on the floor. It wasn't uncomfortable for me, just odd in the way things sounded. I don't feel like I am hearing more than before yet, but it does feel directional. Like I can hear where things are. Hope that makes sense.

And today, I AM WASHING MY HAIR!!! Whoo ho! I am sure that I will really feel more like myself with a clean head.

I'll check in later.
HI all,

Elke - I'm glad you feel good and don't have the major dizzies!!!

The numbness in your tongue is normal. When the feeling started coming back in mine was when the metallic taste appeared. It's kind of annoying but part of the healing process. It means your nerve is waking up.

If you can tell which direction sound is coming from already....WAHOO....wait till that packing comes out and you start hearing stuff AND know where it's coming from. Its creepy at first and kinda cool at the same time.

Happy Birthday!

Keep us posted.

I go tomorrow for more hearing tests before surgery on Tuesday. Since mine is a revision, he wants more tests.

I didn't think I would be nervous this time...but...well, I am. I hope I'm up and around without the dizzies for Christmas. I got all my Christmas stuff done so I don't have to worry about it. I can just rest and not push myself.

More later,

Carol- Hang in there, you are a veteran at this thing. You'll do great! You've been waiting for so long to get this one done, and now it's here! No more waiting...yeah!!!! Really, I hope all goes well this time. No blowing noses!

Elke- Glad to hear your surgery went well. I'm sure you'll be like me and go through and read the old threads to see what others experienced and how your recovery compares. It sounds like you are doing fine.

For me, I am now on day 18 or so. I feel fine, but am a little concerned that I am not hearing better. I hear a little bit out of my operated ear, but it seems about the same as before surgery. I guess it's good that I hear a little, because if my prosthesis slipped I wouldn't hear anything, right? Compared to last week, I hear less distortion of sound. The distortion seems to be most prevalant when I'm in a real loud enviroment, like a basketball game. The buzzer is the worst...I don't feel pain, but the sound is real grating in my head. When the band plays, I also hear distortion. Another thing I noticed that I'm sensitive to is when I'm putting dishes away, the clanging together of my stoneware plates. The sound is so much more sharp and loud than I ever remember. Not sure what this means. I've occasionally felt a little pain, but I think this may be due to sinus fluid. I've taken some Claratin or sudafed on most days, mostly because I feel some drainage in the back of my throat and for that pressure I sometimes feel in my sinuses.

I know I have to be patient....I just wish I could hear better. I guess I just have these nagging doubts that I messed something up. I've caught myself lifting something a little heavy, like Christmas packages, by mistake, or clearing my ears and worrying that I pushed too hard. It's just tough because otherwise, I feel normal, and just forget that I have these restrictions. I'm looking forward to Saturday when I have all my restrictions (besides flying) lifted and I can get my ear canal wet again! I'm also looking forward to getting out and running again. I really miss that and feel like a slug!
Day 4 Post Op

I should have waited to post another 45 minutes on Day 3. That is when I hit the wall. BAM! Nausea and dizziness. I have been in bed ever since. The doctor prescribed nausea medicine and Valium for the dizziness, but I hadn't taken any. I thought if I didn't have any symptoms, I shouldn't take it. Now I wonder.

I also tried to wash my hair. Stupid. Too much, too fast. I didn't get any water in my ear, but it was stupid to do that so fast. My husband kept telling me "It's only been two and a half days. Slow down."

So here I sit, in bed, on my birthday.

Actually, it isn't that bad. My husband is waiting on me hand and foot, giving me back rubs and letting me watch whatever I choose. All the while, my ear is healing.

I'll check in later.
Hi all,

AF - Hang in there. If the sounds clanking in the kitchen are louder and sharper than you remember then its working. Some have reported no real noticable hearing changes until about the 4 week point, some reported immediate changes. With either the removal of or modification made to the stapes bone to allow placement of the prosthesis you would hear if it was not working. Ice pack and ibuprofen to get all the internal swelling down might help.

Elke - Sorry you are sittin at home feeling like crap for on your birthday:(
Please just sit back and be lazy. (at least you have an valid excuse for it)Read a book, watch tv, look at old photos and by all means let the hubby baby you till he's sick of it.

Update on me..

Today I had the Right Ear Revision Stapedectomy.

I was originally on standby for today if anyone cancelled and listed as the "last surgery" of the day if no one did. Was supposed to be there at 8:00am and just hang out waiting for my turn.

Yesterday I went for hearing tests (SRT 80) in that ear now. Way down from SRT 20 at the 3 month post-op hearing test of the original surgery. (New people joining us or reading this forum read the old posts to find out why it went bad).

On the way there yesterday they called and said to be there at 6:00am sharp. ARG!! 6am with no really would be a day for miracles.

Anyways I got there a little early and checked in, did the admit blood work, etc and then asked if they knew what time my surgery would be yet. They said I was moved to the very first surgery of the day at 8am. WEEEEE.

6:30 I was in my room, 7:15 rolled in the pre-op room and given the IV and talked with all the docs and nurses involved.

8:00 sharp I was rolled into the OR. The next thing I knew it was 9:50 and I was being shaken by the nurses saying "you need to wake up now, come on wake up". To which I replied "I don't wanna". HEHE They all laughed.

10:00 was moved back into my room where I ate jello, drank liquid and went potty (which were the requirements to be able to go home).

At 11:30 I was outta there on the way home. I was groggy but had no dizziness, nausea or pain. I could hear a little but not much.

Got home and went straight to sleep.

Woke up at 2:00......cause the pain hit as well as the dizzies. Much to my surprise I was able to hear even better. That is when I notice major tinnitus. I ate a snack, took the appropriate meds and tried to go back to sleep but the tinnitus was soo loud I couldn't. I ended up turning up the tv real loud to override it and finally fell asleep.

I woke up at 4:30 when my youngest got home from school. My hearing was even better!! The tinnitus was still there but not loud like it was before I went to sleep.

7:00pm (a mere 10 hours after surgery):

*Very light tinnitus.
*Tongue is a little numb, no metallic taste yet.
*Dizzies under control with meds.
*Pain hasn't returned yet but I'm sure it will.
*My hearing is incredible. (I'm back on volume 2 on the TV instead of 14).

I've already had two of these surgeries so I'm aware of what the hearing sounds like during the phases of recovery and now I'm really confused.

My hearing is crisp and clear. No distortion at all (blown speaker underwater effect). I had a conversation with my boyfriend who was in the kitchen and was in my room with the TV on. I heard him loud and clear and this is just 10 hours after surgery. TOTALLY AWESOME! The only thing hearing wise that is the same this time as the other times is that I hear myself really loud, but that is not distorted either.

I don't know if the differences are because it was a "revision" surgery not a "first time" surgery. Either way he had to cut open the ear drum to perform it so its no longer sealed/healed which would make you think it would have the same healing process as before. I'm really confused about that one. Also my bf looked in my ear with a flashlight and said he couldn't see the "blue" packing like he could the last two times. He could only see dried blood. Maybe it's covering the packing, maybe there is no packing, I dunno. I also remember that there was no cotton ball in the ear when I first woke up and thus far I have had no drainage. All very different this time around, and subject to change, i'm sure.

As for why the revision was necessary and what he found once he got in he suspected the prosthesis had come out of place. As the bone it's attached too heals (hole starts closing/sealing) sometimes it pushes it out. It's not common but does happen. That combined with the whole nose blowing bit is what what happened. He took out old prosthesis and put in a new one and attached it differently.

I do realize that I'll prolly be in pain, have more dizzies and my hearing may decrease again several times during the healing process but at least at this point I know it worked! Maybe I will be able to sleep better not worring about it.

Yes, I know folks - another long post :)

More later,

Carol...Congratulations!! I"m so glad that the revision went well. I can imagine what you have been through this past year and I have such respect. Thank you so much for providing us all with this forum. Without it I think I would have had numerous nervous breakdowns and panic attacks!

As for my healing process, I"m 35 days post op. I'm still experiencing some distortion. Not nearly as bad as earlier in the week though. I made the mistake of taking a roadtrip down to LA (6 hrs from SF). For some reason the vibration of the car on the freeway got into my ear and it was 6 hrs of hell on earth. Every little sound seemed to trigger the distortion. It's finally starting to clear. The doctor said it was normal as the vein graft heals over the prosthetic. Sometimes it pulls a little too tight and it takes the healing of the scar tissue for the distortion to totally clear.

I went for my 1 month hearing test today. It was amazing!! I don't know the exact numbers, but my hearing is essentially in the normal range now. They were shocked at the improvement in such a short time. I really just still can't believe it. I was nearly deaf in the right ear, especially in low tones. Anyways, I nicknamed my doctor the Ear Angel.

I have been given the go ahead to do everything..including get my ear wet. Pretty exciting. Back to the gym I more excuses.

I hope everyone has an amazing holiday full of beautiful music, love and amazing conversation.

Justine :angel:
Hello, all!

My nausea has subsided and I went into the office today. It is nice to be back. I am getting combination "Well Wishes" and "Happy Birthdays". My boss gave me a Willow Tree ornament of an angel holding a sea shell to her left ear -- listening to the ocean. It was very sweet.

I am still light headed every now and then. But I am wearing motion sickness wristbands and that seems to help.

My ear popped this morning. I have been trying not to do that, but it did. Wow. It hurt for a little while, and now sounds are very sharp. It is still muffled, but a lot of the noises are coming through.

I also have pretty consistent ringing, but it isn't loud enough to distract me too much. It is time for our office party, so I'll stop for now.

Keep going, Carol!!
7 weeks post op
First post op visit hearing is normal, pure tone average air post op 13db, bone conduction 5db. He had to vacuum gel plug and old blood out.
Had flu 3 days ago mild dizziness after that, but I think it is improving. Next visit one year from now.
CAB1, I am glad that your surgery went well.
2 days post-op.

Ear closed. Mild pain comes and goes. Dizzies come and go. Still having mild tinnitis.

I'm pretty much just sleeping and eating all the time right now.

More later,

First of all Happy Xmas to all,While searching in the internet i found this website which is very very good.

I am 35 yrs old and i have both ears stapes problem. When i was 25 years old my right ear stapedectomy operation was successful in india. Now i am planning to get operation for my left ear. I am in Atlanta GA state.

Can any one suggest good doctors in atlanta and also please guide whether i go for operation or hearing aid for my left. I am unable to hear if some one speaks slowly particularly in office when they call me behind.

I am able to communicate infront but not behind. I feel guilty and it is giving hints to other people he is very arrogant.

Please suggest again good doctors in atlanta and your valuable suggesstions.

Hi all,

3 days post-op

Last night I had a migrane headache, took pain pill and passed out.

I'm feeling ok today. I took a shower/washed my hair (YAAAY) which made me feel a lil more human. I then went on an outing to keep from going nuts. Mom took me to two stores then we came home. It wasn't too bad.

I'm a little dizzy and tired but overall, I'm ok. No ear pain, a little drainage and now inside the ear canal is starting to itch.

Ear keeps opening and closing and hasn't opened "fully" since day one. I don't expect it to for a few more days.

Daytime TV bites. I'm bored.

More later,

11 Days Post Op

So far so good. I have had one day of constant clicking in the operated ear, but that has subsided. It nearly drove me nuts that day. I have also experienced the off-and-on feeling that others have talked about, where I hear really well, then it will go away. It is momentary, and I am being patient, so I try not to let it bother me. I suspect it is related to fluid in the ear. I resorted to sleeping with my head elevated one night and that seemed to help the next day.

I don't have my follow-up until January 2 and then he is only going to look and see how my ear is healing. I wonder if there is still packing in there. My husband said there wasn't anything blue in my ear, so I guess it may be all gone by now.

Overall, I have been thrilled with the results and I have been telling lots of people that this surgery is even an option for people with conductive hearing loss. I would never had known about it if the ENT doc hadn't mentioned it.

Talk to you later!
I had my stapedectomy on Sept 27th and it was a nightmare. The footplate was loose and the Dr had to take it out of my ear to attach the prosthesis. I ended up in the hospital for 6 days, totally unable to move because of the dizziness. I so wish I had found this message board before today. It would have saved me a lot of anxiety.
I really feared I would lose all my hearing and the Dr did too. Happily, my hearing returned about 6 weeks after the operation. Since that time, it has been very up and down. Sometimes I wake up with great hearing and by noon, nothing. At least I now know I am not alone and this is all normal. I feel like I have found my Tribe! :wave:
Everything I have been experiencing is talked about in these threads. It is so great to know that I am not alone in this journey and that there are others out there with the same issues. Thank You!

Annie in MN
Welcome Annie! This is a great place to share info and see what others are going through at different stages of the whole process.

I'm on day 23. I feel my hearing is getting better every day. I was on hold on the phone on Saturday, and I tried putting the phone to my other ear, which I hadn't tried in so long. I was amazed how well I could hear the annoying music! It's still not equal to the good ear, but definately better than what I had before surgery. I am still getting the "reverb" at loud noises and at certain frequencies of sound. On Friday, all my restrictions were lifted with the exception of flying. I enjoyed my run (although I feel out of shape!) and my shower without having to keep my ear dry. How wonderful to have that freedom again. It's funny how those simple things are so enjoyable.

Busy now with family in town, happy for my progression every day.

Merry Christmas!

heyy there....i just had my operation on the doctor warned me that i would be out of commission for my normal holiday habits. well xmas wasn't all that bad..just a little dizzy nothing too serious. however, i do have one thing that concerns me..since the operation i cant hear anything out of my right ear(operated ear). i mean i know i have something in there that the doctor told me she will remove when i see her again in january, im just really horrified that im like 100% deaf because i got this surgery to join the marines, and i really hope the fact i cant hear is it? PLease help!! im going nuts here:dizzy::dizzy:
Hello ,

How is everybody? I was mistakenly looking at the closed forum and wondering why nobody had an update.

It has been almost 6 months since the surgery. The doctor when I went in for my last post op said that the hearing was normal. We also did a hearing test which proved that my hearing was normal in my operated ear.

We also looked at the unoperated ear and the doctor asked me to wait till the switch happens, (i.e) the tuning fork is louder on the bone than when we place the tuning fork near the ear.

Marco -- you just have to be patient. This isn't an overnight process. If you have concerns, give your doctor a call.

I am at 13 days post op.

Christmas and today are not great days. My ear really hurts -- like it did right after the surgery. I suspect it is healing and the tissue is tightening. If I turn my head to the right too much, I can feel it pulling. My first post op appointment isn't until Jan 2.

I resorted to taking my pain medicine last night before I went to bed, but I still woke up at 2:00 in pain. I also have loud internal noises, like when I yawn, I hear the pressure in my ear and that makes it hurt again. And then sounds ebb in and out, like the blood pressure in my ear restricts hearing, and then on the low spot I can hear again. I suspect someone knows what I am talking about.

I'm trying to be positive because I am hearing pretty well, when I can hear. I just thought I was done with the pain.
Hi all and Welcome to the New Brave Soles!

My last post was day 3 post-op. The last line of that post was "I'm bored".....

I got stir crazy so I went to the casino. I KNOW...STUPID too much too soon...but the noise didn't bother me at all. I could hear well and felt fine.

Day 4 was fine also. No dizzies, pain, nausea and could hear well(Not great but well).

Day 5 - I went to Christmas with my bf for his big family thing. There were about 45 people there. It was great. I could hear multiple conversations and actually keep track of em. After about 4 hours I got tired and then major nausea set in. I layed down for an hour and was fine again.

Day 8 - (Dec. 26th) was my Birthday. I had felt great since day 5 so my bf took me out to eat and we went bowling. It was fun. Ear is still like "half" open. I can hear but I know it's not open all the way. It's been that way for a couple of days now.

I am happy to report that this time around I have the feeling back in my tongue..WITHOUT the metallic taste. Wahoo!

Today is day 10 Post-op and all is fine. Still have the "half" open feeling and sounds are coming through loud but are at the "rumbly, blown speaker" volume...and NO....I have not blown my nose!!

I go for 1st post-op appt on Jan 7th. Packing comes out then and sounds will clear up.

All-in-all...I'm doing great. Surgery went great. I got my hearing back and that is all that matters.

I'll post again in a few days.

More later,


I have been reading your posts since your first surgery. I am having surgery on Jan 3, performed by Dr. Owens. Thanks for helping me decide to proceed with the surgery.

I have been reading your posts since your first surgery. I am having surgery on Jan 3, performed by Dr. Owens. Thanks for helping me decide to proceed with the surgery.[/QUOTE]
Hi all,

Pressed, Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about. Its one of those "wierd" sensations and kind of annoying. Sorry you are having pain. I did too a few weeks after on one of my surgeries. I, like you, thought I was done with pain at that point. Hang in there....PATIENCE.

So good to hear from you and I'm thrilled that your hearing is normal. Thats something we all are shooting for and you achieved it. WEEEEEE..YAHOOOO!!!


I'm gonna call you "CS"...If you want me to call you something else... Noah, Hope, etc...let me know.

I got that really cool feeling in my heart when I read your post. I'm happy that I (and all the others here) might have helped someone else be able to experience better hearing by continuing to share our progress stories. I do wish you well. I have no doubt that if your hearing can be fixed...Doc Owens is "Tha Man". I'll be praying for you and hope you will update us as soon as you feel up to it.

Also, do me a favor? Tell Doc that I(we) helped you decide to have the surgery done. He knows me fairly well by now. I told him about this forum and he thought it was awesome that we all share our stories and ecourage each other. He said he feels, like we all do, that hearing about all the recovery phases from others that have actually been through it, is more comforting than any doctor saying that there is a surgery to fix it and a 3-6 month recovery period afterwards.

Good Luck.

Update on me... 13 days post-op

I'm doing great. One nausea spell yesterday that lasted about an hour, then I was fine. Ear is a little more open than the last few days I hear better but it's still rumbly loud.

We had 7 kids in the house last night. My bf was in the front of the house and I was in the back. He yelled "Are you ok back there"? which I replied "Yes, I'm fine and Baby...I can hear you all the way back here, over all the kids and understood every word you said". (That was one of those sooo sweet moments so I had to share it with ya)

Went to 6-Flags today. No, I didn't ride anything - that would have been suicide, but I did deal with all the noise real well. I never even got a headache!! :)

More later,

Thanks for the reply Carol. You can call me Courtney. I'm more freaked out about being put under than the actual surgery of the ear. Can you tell me from start to finish about anesthesia? I was reading somewhere that people that suffer from motion/car sickness are worse coming out of anesthesia. Have you ever tried the SeaBands?
Happy New Year Everyone! :jester:

I am hoping 2008 will be better than the last 3 months of 2007. I am 3 months post op now ( I am the one with the loose foot plate ) and I am typically having about 3 days of good hearing followed by 4 days of not hearing out of my operated ear. When I start to hear again, I get a VERY loud ringing in my ear. Then I begin to hear better during the loud ringing and after it goes away.

Does anyone else have this? I know you have talked about "opening and closing" of the ear. Does anyone know what causes this and when I can expect it to open and stay open?

Thanks for any replies.

Annie in MN

Here's what I experienced with the anesthesia each time.

January 07 - I woke up and wanted to puke. They gave me something for nausea. I ate crackers and went home. The car ride home was torture -the nausea was awful. I got home and puked. Went to bed and when I got up I was fine.

May 07 - I woke up and felt fine. A little dizzy but never felt like puking. Ate crackers and drank coke (1.5 hours after surgery). I got in the car to go home scared of a repeat from the time before - but I was fine.

December 07 - Same as May. I was a little dizzy but that was it.

Owens give you 4 prescriptions.
and then one for nausea but I forgot what it's called.

The nausea pill you dissolve under your tongue and it works within 5 or 10 minutes.

Have your prescriptions filled before surgery and have them with you..and you will be fine.

Update on me 16 days post-op
Everything is great! Ear is open completely (but I still have packing in for a few more days). I hear great already and have NO dizzies, pain, taste issues, etc.

Good Luck

More later,

21 Days Post Op

I had my follow up appointment today and Dr. Owens took out the packing. Yowza! It smarted a little, but it was more discomfort than pain. Immediately afterwards, my ear was completely open and I could hear really well.

Dr. Owens conducted the famous tuning fork test -- and hooray -- it was significantly louder in front of my ear than when the fork rested on the bone. I go back on the 25th for the hearing test to get the real results.

We also talked about my right ear. Hearing in the left ear is so unfamiliar to me, the right ear seems signficantly

Now, a couple of hours later, I can tell my ear isn't as happy as I thought it would be after taking the gunk out. My level of hearing is dependent on the position of my head. If I look down, it sounds great. But if I look up it closes off. Patience. It has only been three weeks.

About the anesthesia -- I was really apprehensive about it too. But there was nothing to be worried about. Take the medicine and rest, rest, rest.
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all your posts.

I have otosclerosis and I am thinking about having the operation this year.

My question is has anyone undergone the operation here in the UK on the NHS as all the posts so far seem to be about US opearions.

I await your responses.

Good Luck today Courtney! I said a prayer for you this morning:) I hope all goes well and you are not too nervous.

More Later,

OMG I can hear and boy is it loud. I thought I was going to die on the ride home yesterday - the road noise was awful and my husband got lost coming home from the hospital. A tour around Dallas and Fort Worth was not what I had in mind the day of my surgery. I keep telling everyone to shhh. Surgery went very well and only one puke after anethestia. Didn't sleep much last night at all. I think its just the amount of noise - I counted 5 freakin planes going over my house in the middle of the night. I wish they would find a new flight pattern.

1 day post op - today not feeling all that great, I have wicked headache. Did any of you experience headache? My ear is draining a little, but of course I feel like it's gushing blood. How important is the sleeping at 30 degrees? That's not very comfortable.

Dr. Owens rocks!
Getting sleepy - Carol, thanks for the prayers.

- Courtney
OMG Courtney,

I'm at work and just read your post. I was laughing uncontrollably and crying at the same time- NOT at your discomfort - but at the flight pattern comment and the fact that you can hear. I so can identify with that. My employees came in to my office to see what was so funny! (Of course, they didn't grasp the reality of your comment like I did).

Take your pain meds and sleep through the headache. 24 Hours from now you will be ok. Getting use to the new "noises" will take time. My ac/heater in the house still wakes me up at night.

I didn't sleep at the 30 degree angle. I just slept on the unoperated ear for a week.

The road noise and all the "rumbly" loud stuff will take several weeks to calm down (until the ear drum seals back up). PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.

Keep us posted and I'm soooo happy for you.

I'm glad you like Doc Owens. Like I said before, "He's Tha Man!"

Update on me 18 days post-op:

I hear great, feel great and have a wonderful outlook on life again:D

Doc appt in 3 days to get packing out.


I know you read these posts baby - THANK YOU for finding this surgery for me. Because you did and I posted about it (as well as others), you helped Courtney and many many others regain their hearing.

More later,

HI all,

20 days post-op.

I got the packing out this morning and to my surprise it didn't hurt like the last couple of times. He also did the tuning fork thing and wowser was it way louder by the ear than on the bone. THAT is a very good thing.

Courtney - How are you doing? I hope your headache went away and you are able to sleep better.

More later,

25 Days Post Op

I get really frustrated these days. There are times when my ears are wide open and everything sounds great. Then, in just a matter of hours, everything closes up and I can't hear. Or it sounds like I am in a tunnel. It also feels like I gotta yawn, so I am constantly trying to get my ears to open. I don't even like to sleep on my ear because it feels so weird in the morning for about an hour.

Plus, I can make myself REALLY dizzy for just a quick second if I swallow hard to make the tubes close. (I guess that is what I am doing. I'll check the other posts cause it seems like I read that already somewhere.)

Courtney -- I slept upright a little for almost a week after the surgery. I can't say it was better or not, but I like to think it helped. To make it comfortable, I had a pillow under my knees to keep me upright and one of those neck pillows helped.

Someone else asked about surgery in the UK. There may be some entries on the closed thread, but most responders are in the US or Canada.

Talk to you all later,

Hang in there! The opens and closes usually last for about 4-6 weeks.

Yes - it's very annoying and frustrating but will get better.

Please don't try to pop the ear trying to get it to stay open, let it do it in its own time. You are past the first 3 weeks so physically you feel better and it's easy to forget that you just had major ear surgery. Your ear takes a minimum of 3 months to heal *completely* and up to 6 months for hearing to stabilize.

Patience Gal, Patience.

Those "opens that sound great" will get longer and longer each day. One day you will realize..."Hey, my ear stayed open all day".

More Later,

OK day 2 was not so bad, I made my husband take a shower with me and wash my hair (that's not the action he was hoping for - ha ha) of course the whole time I was freaking out that I would get water in the ear.

day 3 bad, bad, bad couldn't hear anything and was sick all day.

day 4 no one told me about the affects of anesthesia/pain meds and valium on your system. Called Dr. today and he said "enema" (I said "OMG are you kidding") well, I sure do feel better. Enough of that talk. He also said that the anti nausea meds were causing my headache. I felt like my brain was going to pop out of my skull.

Hearing comes and goes today. My kids are so confused - whisper or shout. I have to be honest, it's going to be a long time until I go for it with the left ear. Off to later
I had my stapedectomy on January 2, 2008, on my left ear. My ear still feels really full and I can't hear out of it. I am still experiencing dizziness when I turn my head, or move suddenly. Any reports on how long this dizziness will last? I am also feeling really tired. I can see why they told me not to drive for 10 days. I want to be back to normal. I'm getting frustrated.
1 month 3 weeks post op. (51 ish days)
Hey Guys,

I hope everyone is having a great January so far!
Cab...I"m so glad that everything is going well for you!!
A little update on me, everything seems to be going well except the distortion that is getting better, but is still there. It still sounds like a broken speaker, sometimes crackly, mostly with loud high pitched noises. I have to say that it is getting much better though. I don't have the reaction to vibration that I was having before and car rides are much more comfortable.
I sing for a living so this has been really frustrating for me....almost two months off and I'm getting really antsy. This board always helps me to relax.
I was given the go ahead to resume normal activities after my last appointment 3 weeks ago. I've been doing things a little reserved but have pretty much gotten back to normal life.
The ringing that I've been experiencing for 5 years is still the same...almost worse when I sleep. On a positive not though, it's much better over all cause I can hear so much more. I don't notice it at all during the day anymore which is a huge improvement. I used to think about my tinnitus every spare second I had before the surgery.
So the road is still a little bumpy and I'm just going with the flow. I did get a little cold and was a bit concerned with the blowing....but I took Cab's advice and did it lightly and it seems to be fine.
One other thing....does anyone feel a wierd sensation when they are lying down like there is something pressing on the eardrum. It's hard to explain but it feels like there is something still in there....scar tissue I'm thinking???

Hi Group!

I am almost 6 weeks post-op (surgery Nov. 30). My hearing has been gradually improving, with that "bad speaker" static present at loud noises and at certain frequencies. In the last few days, I've noticed my ear "openning up" to FULL COMPLETE HEARING! It was only for a few seconds, but I believe it was a glimpse of what is to come! I was in my car a lot, driving back and forth to Detroit, and these periods of full hearing would come and go. It was pretty cool.

One annoying thing I have experienced is a sort of tickling/itching of my ear at times. It drives me crazy! Does anyone else experience this?

I've been so lucky to not have any dizziness whatsoever since my surgery. I've been wondering why this is the case, since so many of you have experienced so much of it. I wonder if it has to do with my surgery having been under local anaesthetic? Someone on the other thread mentioned that when under local, the doctor can ask questions to the patient, guiding them for placement of the prosthesis, etc. I wonder if this was a factor in my lack of dizziness? Just curious...

9 weeks post op no more dizziness, Hearing normal. Great to be back to normal
Dizziness lasted for 8 weeks. dizziness gradually waned as I am back to regular exercise.
Ok Guys and Gals...

The reason we are all posting here is because there is a long recovery process associated with this surgery. We all read everything we could before our surgeries and were aware of this.

Having said that, we ALL got frustrated and wanted everything to be perfect immediately. (yes, including me) Being the Momma Bird that I am, I am trying to calm us all down with the big patience reminder.

Let me show the time line this way......

[B]Courtney - 4th day post op[/B] - "Hearing comes and goes today. My kids are so confused - whisper or shout. I have to be honest, it's going to be a long time until I go for it with the left ear."

[B]Chrissy - 10 days post op[/B] - "My ear still feels really full and I can't hear out of it. I am still experiencing dizziness when I turn my head, or move suddenly. Any reports on how long this dizziness will last? I am also feeling really tired. I can see why they told me not to drive for 10 days. I want to be back to normal. I'm getting frustrated."

[B]Carol - 20 days post op[/B] - doing great right now still -but mine was a Revision surgery.

[B]Elke - 25 days post op[/B] - "I get really frustrated these days. There are times when my ears are wide open and everything sounds great. Then, in just a matter of hours, everything closes up and I can't hear. Or it sounds like I am in a tunnel. It also feels like I gotta yawn, so I am constantly trying to get my ears to open. I don't even like to sleep on my ear because it feels so weird in the morning for about an hour."

[B]Anne - 6 weeks post op[/B] - "In the last few days, I've noticed my ear "openning up" to FULL COMPLETE HEARING! It was only for a few seconds, but I believe it was a glimpse of what is to come!"

[B]Justine - 7 weeks post op[/B] - "A little update on me, everything seems to be going well except the distortion that is getting better, but is still there. It still sounds like a broken speaker, sometimes crackly, mostly with loud high pitched noises. I have to say that it is getting much better though. I don't have the reaction to vibration that I was having before and car rides are much more comfortable"

[B]Lazmi - 9 weeks post op[/B] - "no more dizziness, Hearing normal. Great to be back to normal. Dizziness lasted for 8 weeks. dizziness gradually waned as I am back to regular exercise.

Do you all see the pattern? 6 weeks or less there is still lots and lots of healing to do. Around the 6 week point everyone's posts started being more positive because they had had time to heal.

So to all my friends out there that are traveling the long bumpy road to be able to enjoy great hearing and to all those who are now on the last leg of the trip....and in my case...flat tire - u-turn start again...

Patience. Bump. Patience. Bump. Patience.

Bottom line is:

WHEN your ear is open...Do you hear better?

Dealing with the dizzies, opens and closes, headaches, tinnitis, strange sensations in the ear, metallic tastes, like "wearing the cast" stage of a broken leg. Around 6 weeks you can start "physical therapy" and should start seeing more results daily.

I hope this helped a little. Sit back, relax and don't worry. I would say "Keep your head up but you might still be gettin I wont say that".

More later,

Hi all,

Yes Anne, I do have the tickling/itching in my ear. Sometime when it does that I shake my head left to right several times and it stops...but then I get dizzy.

Chrissy, when I had the right ear done the first time, I didn't hear a peep out of it for 7 days. Yes, I was frustrated and droze myself crazy worrying. All I can say is hang in there.

It is really good to see that some of you are starting to see good results.

Update on me - 21 days post op.
I'm doing good. My hearing is great. It's still really loud but not rumbly and I get headaches or a little aggitated at certain sounds. I'm learning slowly how to ignore certain sounds again too. It's not bad, it just takes concentration and sometimes I'm too tired to do that.

More later,

Thanks for the "putting things into perspective"...I really needed that. I am over my dizziness, pretty much, but feel like I'm under water as far as the hearing goes. It's only been 9 days since surgery so I guess I need to settle down....I came back to work today. I'll have to say it felt good to be back to some normalcy. Do some people have to have this kind of surgery redone?

I'm glad the perspective helped. I was sad to see everyone so bummed.

There is a 2% chance of having to have revision surgery. I'm in that 2%.

I had the LEFT ear done in January 07 and its fine.
I had the RIGHT ear done in May 07 and had normal hearing 3 months after surgery....but then it went bad and I just had it redone on December18, 07.

If you click on the left side of the screen under the date and time of this post ON my user id "CAB1" there is an option to "find more posts by CAB1". That takes you to a page that lists all of my posts. Go to page 3 and read from the bottom up (date order).

It is also useful if you want to follow any "one" persons recovery process. That really sheds light on the time-line when you read one persons story at a time. I would suggest reading "Andy 01" and "Dwalt" stories. They are both at the year mark so you can see the progress from start to finish.

Take care, don't over do anything and rest when you body tells you to. My dizzies would resurface when I was overly tired after the 1st and 2nd surgeries for about 4 weeks.

More later,

I'm at just under 7 weeks now, and all my distortion is gone! It was funny, one day I just realized that there was no buzzing or vibrating any more! Even at loud places, like the gym at my son's basketball games, there is no distortion (bad speaker) like there was just a week ago....Even when the band plays!

That said, I still don't have full hearing back in my operated ear. I believe it is better than pre-surgery, but I hope that it gets better than this. I go in for my hearing test in mid-February, so I'm curious how much better my "bionic" ear is. I was a little discouraged when I slept through my alarm clock the other day and needed my husband to kick me to wake up. I was hoping those days were over!!!

I am in the process of receiving all my bills and statements for my surgery right now, and am rather shocked at the cost of this surgery. I suppose I should have looked into this in more detail before I had it done, but I have insurance and knew that I needed to have the surgery regardless. The total cost (pre-insurance) is approaching $15,000! I'm curious if this is in line with what others have experienced.
12 days post-op - Feel great, no dizzies. After 4 days post-op my hearing has been great. Still some noises are too loud, but I'm getting used to that. I went for my post-op appointment yesterday and Dr. Owens took out the packing. That was a weird feeling and today my hearing seems a little off, but not too bad. I feel very fortunate that I'm feeling so well. I know to take it easy and rest when I'm tired. I don't work outside the home so I can take it easy when need be, kudos to those of you who went go back to work so soon after this surgery. I don't know if I could've done that. I did forget to ask the doc about working out. Any suggestions on when I should go back to the gym to run and lift weights?

Carol - is your hearing the same in both ears now? Do you hear in stereo?

Thanks to all for your postings, this info was way more helpful than I could have gotten from any nurse or doc.
I was told three weeks before running at all or lifting more than 7-10 pounds. I'm a regular distance runner, so this was tough for me but I think it was for the best. Now I am back to my regular schedule. You may want to call your own doctor to see what he/she recommends for your situation.
Hi all,

Just a quick answer on the "costs" of this surgery.

Yes, my PRE-insurance totals for each surgery was right at $15,000. The insurance company disallows or cuts down the allowable amounts considerably!
I had a $500 deductible and then my insurance pays 80%.

January 07 surgery - my total out of pocket $1228 - including medications.
May 07 surgery - total out of pocket $687
Dec 07 surgery - $758 (revision surgery Surgeon charges $500 more for this than original surgeries).

So..if your plan is anything like mine, it's still cheaper than hearing aids and last lifetime instead of a couple years.

More later,

Hi, Gang!

I am at 33 days post-op. Sunday was my 1-month mark and my husband and I marveled at the progress. Who would have thought I would be at this spot just 30 days later?

Things are still improving. The closed-up feeling I have every morning is getting shorter and shorter each day. The funny thing is that I have gotten so used to the dramatic difference when the ear is open, I find catch myself thinking "Wait -- is it still working?" I'll listen for a second and realize, yes, it is still working great.

Last night, just before I drifted off to sleep, I could hear my husband on the phone -- all the way downstairs!!

My surgery costs a little over $10,000 for the hospital and doctor expenses. Carol is right that insurance tends to have discounts applied, so my insurance was only billed about $3,000. THANKFULLY, my husband continues to have phenomenal coverage, so I didn't even have a deductible or co-pay. If I had waited to have the surgery in 2008, the costs would have been larger for me.

I go back on January 23 for the tests to see where I am at.

Thanks, Carol, for the reminder to be patient. It is worth it. Very much so.
Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well today.

Courtney - Yes I do hear in stereo. I also can tell which direction sounds are coming from. I haven't been able to do that in many many years! No, I do not hear the same in both ears. My left ear has some nerve damage that can't be fixed but 90% of my loss was conductive loss and that part is fixed. Hearing in that ear is SRT 30. Normal is SRT 20 and less. I do not have the numbers yet on the right ear, I'll get those Jan. 28th. But I did the official at home hearing test that we all do..."cover one ear, then the other, etc" and I can hear much better out of the newly operated on right ear.

Elke - Aaaaah! You are at the point! It's all downhill from there!

Update on me - 28 days post op.

I can hear great. I'm still having some sounds that are waaaaaay to loud. They are not rumbly, just loud. I know it's just a matter of getting used to it. I'm a tryin! Other than that I feel great. No other ligering "recovery phases" at this time.

More later,

Hi All,

Congrats to everyone who is doing good and hearing better and better everyday! On January 2nd my ear opened up and has been open every day since then. My husband looks for the thumbs up or thumbs down each morning when we wake up and so far it has been thumbs UP for 14 days now.

Did anyone else out there experience complications during their surgery? My foot plate came loose and had to be removed and then put back in. Because of that, my recovery has been slower than most of you but it is so fun to read all the posts because we are all experiencing the same thing!

At 3 1/2 months post op I am still kind of dizzy but not the "Bobble Head" that I was for 3 months. Now my ear is like Rice Krispies "Snap, Crackle and Pop" but as long as I can hear out of it, who cares!

Thanks again to everyone who writes about their experiences and especially to Carol who keeps it all together.

Annie in MN
Hello! I am so excited to have found this board. I just had my surgery last week, January 10th, and it is so nice to read about people having similar experiences, both before and after surgery. My dad had the same surgery a few years ago and had a horrible experience--lots of vertigo and vomiting in the days/weeks after surgery. He still has little to no hearing in that ear and experiences vertigo at times. Needless to say, I was really nervous that the same would happen to me.


I came out of surgery feeling great! I was only in "twilight" during the surgery, so I could hear everything the doctor was doing. It was actually quite horrible, hearing the grinding, suction, and other strange things going on in there. I was sedated enough not to protest, though, and in the middle of the surgery I actually asked the doc if I could keep the piece he was removing so I could show it to my students! He hooked up the new piece and I could instantly hear everything. It did have that strange, hollow, too-loud sound, but I could hear! He did a quick tuning fork test and packed it up. I had to stay there for about 4 and a half hours lying on my side, which got uncomfortable. I had no pain for a while, but eventually felt a little, so they gave me some morphine, which made me sleep for almost the entire recovery time. At the end of the 4 and a half hours, the nurse kept asking if I felt okay, which I did. Absolutely no dizziness, nausea, or pain. They sat me up slowly, looking very concerned, but I felt great. I stood up, got dressed, walked to the bathroom, and then they wheeled me out to the car. From admitting to discharge was about 7 hours. The car ride home was easy, and I rested on the couch for the rest of the day. I haven't needed a single pain pill and experienced no nausea, and it's already day 7! The surgery was on a Thursday, and I was back at work on Monday. Everything is really loud...almost like I have dog hearing. I am amazed at the things I can hear again. I was at the grocery store Monday night and heard the background music that they play for the first time in years! My husband is so happy, but also lamenting the fact that he has to be more quiet more blasting the shower radio while getting ready for work in the morning. Because sounds are so loud, I am having a little trouble telling how far away they are. For example, my cell phone was ringing in another room and I thought it was right beside me because I was hearing it so clearly.
I go on Monday, Jan. 21st to get the packing out, and to also get the steri-strips off of the incision on my arm. They removed a piece of vein from my arm. I'm not exactly sure how they used it, but the O.R. nurse said it was a buffer between the ear drum and prosthetic so that the body would not reject it. Anyone else have the vein thing?
I'm so grateful for the easy recovery thus far. I am guessing it is a combination of my relatively young age (27 years) and a great surgeon. I also tried to prepare for the surgery by doing yoga for the past few months and eating more fruits and vegetables...both of which are such a huge lifestyle change for me. :)

I am supposed to have the other ear done eventually and am scared that I won't have as great of an experience with that one. Has anyone had both ears done and experienced different results with the second one?
I'm at seven weeks today, and my distortion is back. After about a week of no distortion I am hearing "static" once again. It's not awful, but very noticable, especially with the radio on in the car and at basketball games. I guess this means that I am still in recovery mode....Which is OK because I feel my ear is not fully opened up yet to full hearing.

Does anyone know what exactly this "static" is that I am hearing? I hear it with sound, not all the time.
I can't say what the static is...but I used to have that distorted static sound before the surgery when I was exposed to really loud sounds, like at concerts and games. Sorry, I'm sure that doesn't help you at all.
7 Weeks Post Op

I had my first hearing test after the surgery and I am thrilled! The doctor said the results made his day.

Before the surgery, sounds had to be 60dB at 1K Hz. Today, I could hear tones 15dB at 1K Hz! The stapendectomy has effectively given me "normal" hearing. I'll have another test in three months to see where it stands then.

The doctor said there will still be recovery, just as others have reported. Those things will eventually go away, too.

I couldn't be happier. I can really enjoy music and it sounds so much better. Conversations actually mean something because I can understand them. Meetings are comfortable instead of lots of work as I would struggle to hear what is going on.

Based on my experience I would encourage anyone who has otosclerosis to ask your doctor about a stapendectomy. It is one of the best things I have done.

Thanks for letting me share.
Congratulations Pressed! I'm happy for you :)!
I have just found this site and as I sit here 2 days out from surgery I have no idea what to expect. I feel really good, yesterday was better than today but I still feel like I could get up and do something. I don't sit, ever, having 2 kids and working full time as a 3rd grade teacher. From the few entries I've read, it sounds like most stapedectomies are successful as I anticipate mine will be. I put the phone to my packed ear and can hear, although muffled b/c of the packing but it's a good sign. I haven't needed any meds other than some tylenol as precaution. I'm sore in the neck and shoulders and bored to no end. My mouth has a funny taste, but I think that's expected. I don't know when I should start trying anything in fear that the prosthesis will slip. I plan on returning to work next Thursday as long as I feel energized enough to get there. Does anyone suggest keeping cotton inserted as a cushion for noise? I do teach 24 third graders and noise is sometimes unavoidable. I am eager to get back to a normal routine but am looking forward to my husband going back to work and being alone for a day or two (my kids go to school just down the street and can get them there w/out driving :) Thanks for listening and giving your thoughts.
I went to work on the 5th day after surgery, and I teach pre-school. I began the day with a riveting explanation of the surgery, and told them that my ear was sensitive to loud noises. I asked them to use quiet voices for the day, and to remind their friends if they hear them being loud. My sweeties were great about reminding each other to be quiet, and a few of them would periodically ask me if it was too loud in the room. I did wear cotton in the ear to help muffle some of the noise. I kept having to ask my assistant if the kids were loud or if it was just me, and of course, it was just me. It was a little stressful because it just seemed so LOUD, but it went okay. Play time wasn't the funnest time. :) Now I'm just past the two week point, and I've adjusted to hearing again. I am having to ask the kids to be quiet a lot more than usual, but that's because I'm hearing all of the little sounds they have always made that I never used to hear. My assistant told me, "They always make all that noise, but you never cared before cause you couldn't hear it!" Haha.
Andrea (I hope :)),
If you can handle pre school noise I'm sure third grade noise will be a piece of cake! I'm planning on taking a full week with the possibility of an additional 2 days. I don't know if my head can take much more time off though.
I know my class is as eager as I am to be able to hear what they are actually saying to me. I've misunderstood so many things in conversations that the kids don't even laugh when I respond incorrectly, they just tell me what was said again, and louder. Did you have dissolving packing? My ENT said he'd remove any leftover packing that hadn't dizzolved. I also have a stitch behind my earlobe where he took "fat" for the procedure. I was woozy when he told me I'd have a stitch and don't remember why he needed it.
As for recess time, it sounds like I should go outside if the weather allows it here in the northeast, or we'll have game days inside the classroom until I can handle noise in our gym. Thanks for the heads up with all of this.
For joining a message board for the first time, it's been very helpful. Thanks so much!
Yes, I did have dissolving packing. My doc did not remove it at the 12-day post-op appointment. They said I had to keep water out until further notice because of the packing. I guess when I go in for a hearing test in a month they will let me know. Instead of a piece of fat, my doctor removed a small piece of vein from my arm. I think they used it as a lining around the hole they drilled in the foot plate. The OR nurse said it was to keep my body from rejecting the prosthetic. So, I had about 6 stitches on that arm. They were also dissolving, and are healing up really nicely. My students are pretty fascinated with them! You're probably right about the gym noise. I actually went to a Hannah Montana concert the day after my post-op appointment (day 13 post-op). I asked the dr. if it was okay to go, and he said it was, so I bought some really good ear plugs. They are the foam kind that you squish down and then they expand in your ear and really seal off the ear. There is no way all of the screaming would have been remotely tolerable without the ear plugs! I've been wearing an ear plug in that ear at night, too, because every little noise was keeping me up. I didn't mind, though, because I was just so happy to hear again!
I just had a Stapedectomy on Thurs, Jan 24, 2008.
It was more than I thought it would be.
Surgery was at 8 AM, I woke up at about 11:00 Am
after the surgery and knew right then and there that I was
going to be there for a while. Dizziness was severe and I was throwing up.
After waking up at 11:00 Am, the vomiting began at 2 PM.
Because there was vomit running from nose I blew my nose !
Nobody told me otherwise. When I was being discharged from the hospital
at 5 PM the nurse went through the post op instructions.
One of them was DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE !
I am worried now and I wish they had told me sooner.
The thing is, AS SOON AS I blew my nose my ears popped.
The surgery ear has yet to pop back and it is now 3 days post op.
Should I be worried? Also, my ear feels FULL. There was no mention of
something being put in there but IS THERE SOMETHING IN THERE?
I have an appointment with my doctor on Tues for a follow up but I am wondering if somebody can tell me if that is standard to have something packed in your ear? Also, my dizziness is pretty bad. I can walk and stuff
but I feel drunk ! Is this normal? Can I take Sinutab to clear this stuffy feeling I am having?
Any help would be greatly appreciated

thank you
My guess would be that there is packing in there. I had it, and from what I've read, so did everyone else on here. I hope they told you not to get any water in there. It sounds like you need to get some more info from the doc ASAP. They really should have told you all of those things before the surgery. My doc told me about the no sneezing/coughing/nose blowing thing on the very day we SCHEDULED the surgery.
I didn't experience the dizziness, but I did make sure to leave my ear no popping it or anything else that might affect the ear. I was so paranoid that I tried not to yawn for fear that it might pop my ear and ruin something.
Sorry you're having such a rough experience..I hope it works our for you!
Hi Soulonmyboots - welcome to the board. If you can handle sitting up and reading through all these posts on this thread, you'll probably answer a lot of your questions...

But, that said, I know that's not an easy thing to do when you're feeling as dizzy as you say. I also had pretty bad dizzyness right after surgery and for about a week. I could walk, but it felt like I was a drunk on a boat in rough seas. Fortunately, I didn't experience the vomiting, but others have.

Your ear feels full for a number of reasons - there should be packing and it could very well be on both sides of the eardrum - typically a dissolving kind, but some doctors have cleaned it out after a couple weeks on the outside of the drum. Also, your eardrum was just cut open and it's is most likely swollen - it takes a little time for the swelling to come down. This swelling will sometimes impact your ability to hear out of that ear at first, so don't worry too much if you can't hear as well as you'd expect right now.

As for blowing your nose - hard to say. I was told in advance, but doing so is not a definite for throwing the prosthetic off. Can you hear better out of that ear yet? If so, then I wouldn't worry. You'll probably experience lots of weird sounds and popping over the first week, so try not to worry too much.

Just remember - take it easy and let it heal. I think a lot of us, prior to the surgery, believe the process is minor and we'll be back on our feet quickly, but realize afterward that it takes time to heal.

Good luck! It's all worth it in the end.


Thank you both for your replies and help.
So far the dizziness and hearing worse than before the operation has been the worst part.
As for the hearing in the operated ear, it is much worse than before I went in.
I am hoping that it is temporary. If I put my finger in my "good" ear, I can still hear some, so I guess it is not totally gone.
The thing that concerns me is that it did not feel bad after the surgery, and the hearing was not worse. But AS SOON as I blew my nose my ears did that "pop" thing that they normally do when you blow your nose.
Only thing is, the operated ear has not "popped" back.
They gave me pain killers to use but so far there has been no pain in the ear.
I have minor pain right now in my neck, chest and legs. Nothing too serious.
I am taking sinutab right now because I feel very stuffed up.
Also, my tastebuds are shot right now.
I feel so useless right now.
Has anyone on here experienced that? Bad hearing for the first week or so and then it got better? Or did it improve the minute the "pack" was removed?
This is my first post here and I wanted to thank all of you for sharing your recovery. I had a stapedectomy 10 days ago, and it has helped tremendously to read what's going on with everyone! It seems I've had just about everything mentioned, but what is amazing is how it changes throughout the day, and from day to day. I just never know what to expect. I do have one thing happening today that I haven't read about and wanted to see if anyone else experienced it. I tried talking on the phone on my operated ear and I could actually hear out of it :bouncing: BUT the person on the other end sounded like a chipmunk! I switched the phone to my other ear with hearing aid and the voice sounded normal, although not as loud as my operated ear. Anyone else have this happen? :confused::

Hi Soulonmyboots!
I am one day ahead of you in recovering. I'm sorry to hear that you've been so dizzy. I went under on Wednesday and have felt pretty good thusfar. Really mild side effects. I was sore the day after in my shoulders and neck too. My ear is worse with regard to hearing too but that's b/c of the packing. I am noticing better hearing each day. I am noticing crackling when I swallow today which makes me think the packing is beginning to dizzolve.

I also have noticed a change in my tastebuds. It resembles the post dentist novicane taste on the operated side only. Weird.I also get a quick dizzy feeling if I burp but not with sneezing or yawning.

Today I tried to do too much and am paying for it. I drove to the pharmacy and felt great then a few hours later took my son to gymnastics 15 minutes away. The drive there was fine but I felt a bit "drunk" on the ride home which scared me. Obviously I made it home okay but realized I'm not quite ready to do all of my normal things yet, like going to work (shucks! :)).

If you can, take your time with everything. You'll feel better as each day passes. Good luck!

I think I know what you're talking about when you say the person sounded like a chipmunk. Not sure what causes it, but I also heard people more high pitched in my operated ear than in my non-operated ear. It was like a stereo where one of the speakers was broken. It eventually corrected itself, so hopefully yours will too.

Soulonmyboots - the bad hearing the first week is actually very normal. It's what my doctor told me to expect, though it seems most hear really well right off the bat. I could hear the difference immediately in the hospital, but then it was pretty bad for about two-three weeks. I think it's a double whammy of the packing and swelling.

Hi all and Welcome New Brave Soles!!!

5 weeks post-op (Right ear revision surgery)

Hearing test went well today I knew it would be really good in the right ear.

right ear
HZ db
250 15
500 15
1000 20
2000 15
4000 20
8000 30

SRT 15

Left ear…1 year post-op

HZ db
250 45
500 70
1000 35
2000 45
4000 20
8000 50

SRT 25

So overall is great, but left ear has nerve damage loss so that’s all I can get from it. But Hey---SRT 25 in left is waaaaaay better than the SRT 65 that it was before surgery. I’m not complaining at all!

Remember 20 is normal. Anything below that is “above normal”.

More later - just wanted to post this real quick.

I hope everyone who has had the surgery in the past week is making progress and feeling better each day. Tomorrow is supposed to be my final day home before heading back to work. Many friends think I should push my rest and recovery through the weekend. Not sure what I'll do.
So, my recovery has been good but I am still having "burping dizziness" and feelings of uneasiness when I go to a store. I guess the comotion and looking at Everything is causing it. Has anyone felt that, too much visual stimulation and feeling not dizzy but a little off? Also, I find that I can look at the computer screen fairly easily but not words on a board (like in Dunkin Donuts...made another local attempt to drive :)). That said, I just may take off another day. I am an elementary school teacher who will need to do a lot of reading and teaching immediately.
If anyone checks in, let me know your thoughts.

Hi all - 4 weeks post-op

Carol I'm so happy for you. How often will you have to see the doc after this?

I get my first hearing test in a few weeks. I feel bionic so I'm sure the test will come back with good results. I have been felling great! I still carry ear plugs in my purse everywhere I go, some places are still too loud. I went to the movies, it was so loud. I can't believe more people aren't deaf because the hearing world is so loud. I hear low tones so well now - it seems like the high pitches aren't as clear. Hopefully, that will change with time.

I do have to say I am still freaked out when I get water in my operated ear. When I had my first post-op appointment at about 10 days the doc said "he thought it was OK to get water in the ear", but wasn't very convincing.

I also feel very uneven, because I thought my left ear was the good ear now I realize how bad it really is. I keep sticking my finger in there trying to pull out the stuffiness. I guess I just need to make the appointment to have the left ear operated on. Then all the fun recovery again.

Happy healing to all.
Im a teacher, too, in CA. so decided to do my operation right before winter break so that I coyuld take the time off. if you can, take off another day. Even thoughtthe doctor may say it's OK, I wish I would have rested more. I didn't have to go to work, but I was up and about w/ my 3-yr. old and I wish would have let my ear heal a little more. The few days after the surgery is critical because part of your hearing success is how well your eardrum heals.
:)[QUOTE=loren96;3417191]I hope everyone who has had the surgery in the past week is making progress and feeling better each day. Tomorrow is supposed to be my final day home before heading back to work. Many friends think I should push my rest and recovery through the weekend. Not sure what I'll do.
So, my recovery has been good but I am still having "burping dizziness" and feelings of uneasiness when I go to a store. I guess the comotion and looking at Everything is causing it. Has anyone felt that, too much visual stimulation and feeling not dizzy but a little off? Also, I find that I can look at the computer screen fairly easily but not words on a board (like in Dunkin Donuts...made another local attempt to drive :)). That said, I just may take off another day. I am an elementary school teacher who will need to do a lot of reading and teaching immediately.
If anyone checks in, let me know your thoughts.

What you're feeling is totally normal! Some doctors put like a gelatin pack behind the eardrum but it dissolves slowly and goes into your estuation tube. Others pack it with something else. It's to keep everything in place. My ear felt very clogged for 3 weeks. I couldn't hear much but my doctor said it was normal. It even felt like there was a LOT of liquid sloshing around in my ear so he gave me these antibiotic drops so that I wouldn't get an ear infection. I felt very drunk and but it went away after a week or so. Just keep taking it easy!
Hey everyone!

I had last posted on the old thread that's closed. If you remember me, I thought I'd follow up with you all...

I had my stapedectomy on March 16, 2007. I initially could hear better but the hearing soon went away drastically. My hearing in that ear is now worse than before the surgery. If I'm laying on my 'good' ear (for lack of a better term-that ear has otosclerosis as well) I may as well be deaf, I can hardly hear out of my operated ear. :(

I had a hearing test in May which confirmed that I really was not doing well and then I had a CT scan that showed the prosthesis has NOT slipped. A follow up meeting with my ENT and he said it could be that the prosthesis is just a tad too short or not placed exactly where it needs to be. He is suggesting that I have the surgery again but awake, but anesthetized, so that the surgeon can be sure what's going on during the surgery. I have held off on even making the next appointment, mostly out of anxiety and I'm just fed up with this and agnry that I took what I thought was a good risk and ended up making myself worse. However, I feel it's time to get the show on the road because it's so hard to get by now. I've even stopped going to church because it's useless to try and hear.

So my ENT has referred me to Dr. Jackler at Stanford. I called today and filled out the forms to make an appointment (just waiting to hear back). I've checked out their website and he seems pretty prestigious, so hopefully I'll be in good hands.

I'll keep you all updated on my journey, in case anybody else out there is or will go through this as well. I'm going to try my best to be positive about this. I hope you all can say a little prayer for me!

And for anyone getting ready to have the surgery, please dont let my story scare you, the odds are really good that you'll be fine!
well, misty, honestly, you give me hope! If you can do this a third time with success, hopefully I'll be ok on my second go round. I had that same experience in my car at first (before I lost my hearing in my operated ear). I NEVER knew our seatbelts made a little beep when we fasten them LOL!

Just take it easy and try not to worry. Even a little packing can impact your hearing. There is fluid and swelling and your ear drum also still needs to heal. I bet you'll be FINE! And lets say your hearing doesn't improve from here, well, you're heck of a lot better off now, right?
Misty - I agree with Kathy.. .I think you'll be fine. I was disappointed with my hearing levels at the 1 month test, but then had substantial increases by the 2 month test. It just takes time to heal and for the swelling to go down. You're a brave soul for going three times... good for you!
Hi Everyone,
I'm pretty new to this message board, so I'm not sure if I'm replying correctly but I guess I'll figure it out.
I had my stadectomy on Dec. 14th, so I'm 6 wks post-op. I had my left ear done. I can definetly hear more now with the surgery but not very well. I keep reading these posts and many of you say that your hearing was pretty good by 6 weeks. I've read that it was even loud and like stereo surround sound! WOW. I wish I had that. 3 days after the surgery my hearing came in sooooo loud that I was so happy. It went in and out that day because there was still a lot of swelling and liquid in my ear. I didn't worry because I figured that after the packing was gone, my ear would be perfect. Well, i't been 6 weeks like I said and I know my hearing has improved but not that much. I can hear sounds and cars but I can't make out words real clearly and everything sounds muffled. I saw my ENT a couple of weeks ago and he said that it may take up to 4 months to know the full effect of the surgery. I understand that, but shouldn't the majority of my hearing be back by now? Is this as good as it gets? Could there be something wrong with the prosthesis? Why did I have that bionic hearing 3 days after the surgery and now it's very little? Could my ear still be healing? I see my ENT in 2 weeks, so what should I ask him? He told me last time that there was no need for a formal hearing test since I could tell that my hearing was better. I figured that since I can still hear out of my operated ear, the surgery was not a flop. If it were, wouldn't I be totally deaf? If the prosthesis has slipped, do you lose your hearing completely or could you still hear like I do now?
WOW. i just asked a hundred questions! So sorry. I'm just worried. I hope that I didn't do too much work after my surgery. I was sure not to lift anything over 5 lbs. but the day after surgery, I was out with my daughter and stuff. I didn't rest a lot. Could my ear be "clogged"? How do I clean my ear? My ENT told me just not to worry about it but what if that is the reason my hearing is muffled?
OK, seriously, someone needs to answer me before i go totally NUTS!!!!!
Thanks so much for listening to me!

-Shaadhy Rodgers, the Southern Ca. teacher in distress!
Hey there...

Well, I had great hearing as soon as the packing was taken out but then it went away and has been getting worse since (i'm about 10 months post op). My story is a few posts back if you want to check it out. I would say try to be patient but if after another few weeks or months you are still noticing this, definitely PUSH the issue and even get a second opinion.

From what I understand, the most common cuase is the prosthesis slipping. That's not what has happened with me (i had a CT scan to check). My ENT says that sometimes the prosthesis is not the right size and sometimes not centered just right (this [I]is[/I] microsurgery we're talking about! LOL).

I'll keep posting my experiences here for you. I've been referred to Dr. Jackler at Stanford (nor cal here) and have filled out my paperwork but am waiting for a call back to schedule the appointment.

I totally understand what you are feeling right now and understand your worries. BUT, please try to wait just a little longer and be patient. You may be surprised that it improves for you. I can tell you that even as recently as October (7 months post op) I was still getting scary looking gunk out of my ears occasionally. Surely the packing and swelling and extra icky stuff (blood) can impact what you can hear.
Shaady - I'm really surprised your doctor said there was no reason for a formal hearing test. Mine had me tested by the audiologist at the 30 day and 60 day mark. It was the only way to really show improvement over my pre-surgery tests.

My suggestion is to tell the doctor you would like a formal hearing test, since your concerned your hearing is not markedly improved. If you're not able to make out the words being spoken... that's valid reason to be concerned and you should definitely mention that to him.

Good luck!
Thanks Monica & Kathy. I will see my doctor in a couple of weeks and pose all these questions to him.
I will request a formal hearing test. The thing is,though, I know my hearing has improved so i know that's what the tests will show. Should there be a certain percent that it has improved by now? I would say that my hearing has gotten better by 15 percent. And it has not increased for a 4 weeks now, that's why I'm concerned. It has stayed exactly the new noises...nothing. How can they check if the prosthesis has slipped? What do I need to request my doctor to do?

Have a great day!
Hi Loren,
My first few days of recovery were like that. My husband and I went to pick up some pizza for dinner, and they had a game on the TV, the radio playing, and lots of bright lights. I immediately felt overwhelmed and a little sick to my stomach (which was weird because I had not experienced any nausea to speak of). I turned right around and went to wait in the car. A day or two later, we went grocery shopping and it was also overwhelming. I had forgotten that they played music over the intercom, and it seemed so loud! I began to get really frustrated by the end. The self-check out station was acting up, and my usually patient disposition melted away due to all the sensory stimulation. I was almost at my breaking point when a child began screaming at the top of his lungs. I wanted to slap the mother because the child was WAY to old to be acting that way, and I was already super agitated. It was so odd. I didn't expect to feel that way. It was probably a mix of hearing EVERYTHING and also being out for the first time in a few days. Plus, I felt a little freakish and self conscious after the surgery until my post-op appointment. So what I'm trying to say is, yes, I felt a lot of sensory overload in those first few days. My husband is still praying for the day when I can handle the car stereo above level 4! :)

So, my recovery has been good but I am still having "burping dizziness" and feelings of uneasiness when I go to a store. I guess the comotion and looking at Everything is causing it. Has anyone felt that, too much visual stimulation and feeling not dizzy but a little off? Also, I find that I can look at the computer screen fairly easily but not words on a board (like in Dunkin Donuts...made another local attempt to drive :)). That said, I just may take off another day. I am an elementary school teacher who will need to do a lot of reading and teaching immediately.
If anyone checks in, let me know your thoughts.

Thanks Andrea for the hopeful words. It'll be a whole week back to work tomorrow and each day is different. The noise level in my classroom has been the hardest to deal with. My kids are usually chatty but now it's so hard to filter out the noise from working conversations. The past few days I've felt like my ear was covered with a paper cup, a tunnel like sound. I am noticing better hearing which is encouraging. I don't really like that the hearing changes constantly. If I try to use my operated ear on the phone I feel and hear okay I think but once I've taken the phone away from my ear it feels stuffed. Went to the Hannah Montana movie tonight and did well which was also a good sign. I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks to really notice the changes. It's only been 2 weeks since surgery. I really shouldn't complain since my side affects have been so mild (sorry for those vertigo and nausea sufferers post-op). I told everyone I wasn't going to have vertigo for more than a week :) but really didn't have it at all.
Sorry, I've really just rambled here about my last few days but most of you who read these entries know what I'm going through and the thoughts are just to get others to reply w/their experiences, which I thank you for doing. I guess I'll have more answers come the follow up visit on the 21st and a future hearing test as well. I guess it's just hard to wait for the instant result that won't come with this kind of procedure.
Anyway, thanks for listening. Oh, if soulonmyboots is out there I hope you're feeling better these days too.
Hi everyone, I am now 2 weeks and 3 days post op. Up until like yesteday, i was clogged up..and then i was messing with my ear and it was like a bit of a wet i don't know if the packing is dissolving or what, but i can now hear some high pitched noises better. And i was calling for my child in the other room i had to hold my ear closed it was sort of irritating. So basically things are getting better..I was so worried (being my 3rd go round). But the pounding is still there, and im sure that it wont ever go away..i always say it's as though ur in a tunnel and you hear a construction worker all the way at the other end hammering away...I'am pretty positive this is only my blood pressure, or pulse that i am hearing...I'll keep updating...i don't go back until the that unusual for anyone wait a full month to get the packing past 2 Sx. i believe it was only 2 or 3 weeks at the most. And do u think it to be normal that i had a hearing test done on my 1st post op visit a week after..i thought that was odd..(my doc. wasnt there to see me, so i saw another). Ok, that's all i have for now...Thanks, Misty
Hi everyone. I am new to this forum. I am 11 days post op and at this point my hearing is far worst than pre-op. The loud sensation came back 3 days after my surgery but quickly regressed. I had significant drainage and returned to my doctor 1 week after my surgery. I have been on eardrops and an antibiotic since last Wednesday and still have basically no hearing in the operated ear. I intend to call my doctor again tomorrow because I'm so worried something is wrong. Please let me know if anyone else has had these complications. I had my right ear operated on 15 years ago without any problems. That ear still hears at 95%. So I know this can be a GREAT SURGERY.
I had my surgery on Jan 23 and won't see my doc until Feb 22. As my packing dizzolves my hearing changes. I sometimes hear as if a paper cup is over my ear. Much of the time when a loud noise is made it feels weird. It's the feeling as if someone screams in your ear... that sound. Does that make sense?
Overall I feel good and can't wait to feel normal, if that will ever come :)
I am very new at this. I am day 12 after my Stapedectomy,still have pain. The cold really bothers me. I have no taste and my toungue is still numb.:( When will this get better?? The hearing comes and goes, they ring all the time and it still has some swelling.Tonight is not a very good night it really hurts. I shoveled snow today, did I do something I should have not done? I do not go back to see my Dr.until Feb 21st. He does not see anyone for at least a month after. Is that normal for everyone? Does the packing just disolve on it's own? To shower really sucks, I load up the ear with cotten ball and vaseline,does everyone do that? I have slept on that side all my life, is that a good or bad thing to do is sleep on the ear? Well if anyone has anything to share I would love to hear from you.Hope you are all doing very well and it was really worth doing.

May God Bless
Take care
:angel: :angel:
Patsy -

Sounds like you got some of the worse of the potential surgery side effects. I didn't have issues with taste/numbness, but I read a lot on it and everything (including my doctors beforehand) said it would return to normal. However, it could take up to a couple months. So, stay patient!

Don't shovel anymore snow!!! Yes, that is something you should not have done. You will probably be ok, but you really need to not lift anything over the weight of a phone book - probably for at least a month, but check with your doctor. That's not much. Before surgery, I didn't realize how much lifting impacts the pressure in your ear but it does. Ever notice that pressure increase in your head/ears when your straining to lift something? Even small lifting increases that pressure, though you may not notice it at smaller weights. Your ear needs to heal without the extra pressure.

On showering with the cotton ball and vaseline - I went through two jars of vaseline, so I can relate. I also had a tear in my ear drum during surgery, so the doctor had me go two months with no water in the ear. I got used to it after a while. I was paranoid in the beginning that the cotton/vaseline wouldn't work, but he reassured me it was sufficient. You'll feel liberated when you have the first shower after you no longer need it!

I've noticed everyone's doctors give slightly different orders and schedule follow up differently. I went every week after surgery, but that could have been due to my torn ear drum. The packing pretty much dissolves on its own, but sometimes they'll clean it out what's left at the follow up. It can dry hard, so he may give you drops to loosen it up.

Sleeping on the ear is probably not an issue. My doctor never mentioned not doing it, but some people on here recommend different sleeping methods. I slept on mine occassionally and didn't have issues. Fortunately, I typically slept on my other "good" ear as it blocked out sound. I do miss that ability to shut out sounds, but, I'll take hearing any day! :)

Take care and keep posting! It makes the process so much easier.


p.s. CAROL.... hope you're doing ok! I haven't seen you in a while and I know I stayed away for a while when things weren't so hot, but still read everyone's post.
Hello Monica,

Thank you so much for responding back.It sure is nice to hear other people expericence. I really was not told anything, we went for the appt. and said lets do it. The Dr. is very good and his nurse said she has been with him for 12 years and only 2 people had to back in. I guess that is a good thing, everyone is different. We read alot on the web then found this page.

Yes the taste and numbness are terrible.I just wish that would go away.Since last night it has been hurting alot and it is swollen again.Guess i should have not shoveled snow and as i am writing this it is a blizzard out side.I do love to be out side, but the cold really makes it hurt more.

I really have been trying to lay low but it is hard for me because I never sit. I have not even been back to work yet. I work at a school with very loud 5 & 6graders.I was going to go back today but had a snow day. So I am thinking of just taking the rest of the week. Next week is a vacation week. :cool: and want to feel better.

Sorry to to hear you had a tear in the ear drum. How is it doing now? I hope much better.

Well I guess it is time to load the ear with vaseline and shower.:D

Thank you again Monica.
Take care and have a great day.

Patsy 1/2 hear :angel:
Hi all,

Yes, I'm still here and I have been reading everyone's posts daily. I've been a little busy so I haven't posted. You know me, I can't do short posts so I gotta have like an hour to sit, read, take notes of questions that need answers, etc. Monica you do a great job keeping everyone going and I thank you for that.

There are so many new brave people and I haven't made I'll just start with something I know we all need to "hear":


I saw lots of questions posted the last few weeks. If you haven't read the entire thread AND the other thread that has the same name that is now closed...kick back, put your feet up and start reading. You are supposed to be resting anyways, so you have the time to do it. (hehe). Most of the answers are already here.

I did see someone who is also on surgery #3 (like me) that asked about packing staying in longer than others. My 1st surgery the packing was in for 7 weeks. The 2nd and 3rd go round it was 2 weeks. I'm not sure why, but it was.

Update on me...

8 weeks post-op on revision surgery of the right ear.
My hearing is awesome. No lingering issues with taste, pain, dizzies, loud rumbly sounds, etc.

I am still getting used to being able to hear EVERYTHING and I'm trying to ignore lots of stuff. I guess doing that "automatically" takes a lot of time.

:confused: I hear my shower drip and it wakes me up (it's 10 feet away with a closed door between it and me).

:D My TV, on volume 2, is too loud to fall asleep with it on!! (Yup, it's a problem that I'm sooooooo glad to have).

There are lots of other things like that that still drive me nuts, but it's getting better. I can tell ya - It's a heck of a lot better adjusting to being able to hear again than it was adjusting to NOT being able to hear. Plus, I don't have to say "what?", "huh?" and "please say that again" anymore and I don't just give up trying.

So all you new brave people....Keep your heads up (slowly if you are still in the dizzy phase), relax and hang in there. It does get better.

I'll try to keep up from here on out again and thanks for missing me Monica!

More later,

Hello, i hadn't planned on posting today, was just reading along, and upon CAB's post i sighed, and she was saying how it was a relief to hear as opposed to saying huh, what, and just giving up trying at all. I'm in school with a new group of people, and i sat beside this great guy that was HOH (but had hearing aids) and he would let me bug him by constantly looking over his shoulder to get notes i couldn't make out from lecture. Then, going to lunch, i gave that up, in a cafeteria, with all the background noise, i found myself sitting there pretending not to pay attention, because i just couldnt hear, and got tired of saying..huh, what, im sorry i can't hear u...So i resided to bringing my lunch and staying in the room, feeling like an outcast...Anyway, now even though my hearing isn't perfect (check up next Friday) but there is enough improvement as to where i dont say the huh's and that is def. a great thing..and i have resumed the social lunches with the class..:) Thanks for all the positive posts people, they do get us by...
Hi, I was diagnosed a few years ago with otosclerosis in my right ear. It started out with a faint ringing that progressively got worse. Now I constantly hearing ringing, buzzing, fluctuating tones. At times it feels like I have a cotton ball shoved in my ear. Anyway, the doc suggested a stapedectomy. He said there was a 1% chance of facial drooping. On that note, even though it was a small percentage, I opted to just "deal with it". I was also afraid of the possible vertigo that might be experienced. At this point, I don't experience any dizziness. Now I am just getting tired of asking people to repeat themselves, having to stand or sit on "my good side" so I can hear what is being said so I am considering going back to the doc and having the surgery.

Are you glad you had the surgery? Did it get rid of the ringing? I can handle not being able to hear, it is the constant ringing that can drive me crazy if I let it.

Do you know of anyone that reported having the facial drooping?

Thanks for any info!

My apologies if i am jumping in at the wrong spot. I am scheduling a stapedectomy for my right ear in april. I have always been some what hard of hearing. I find it difficult to hear people at a distance. I mean i can hear them but have no clue what they are saying. I recently had a hearing test that showed severe conductive hearing loss. The lady asked me have you never thought of having your hearing checked. I replied i had it checked five years ago and they said everyting was fine (ha ha) Even then i didn;t feel like i got accurate results. (hindsight) Anyway i also do not talk with the phone to my right ear, i tend to have people walk on my left side, i can't understand you if your back is to me. Was this typical for a lot of people with conductive hearing loss. I never relized how much i covered up my hearing loss. Nodding hopefully appropriately when asked certain questions, claiming i was daydreaming, constantly saying huh or what did you say or saying something that has aboulutely nothing to do with what someone said to me. My husband says i just don't pay attention. He just doesn't understand i get tired of asking someone to repeat something 3-5 times and still not understand what they say. Well thanks for letting me vent. I am really excited and scared about what lays ahead for me.
Those are all of the same issues/coping mechanisms I had! I can definitely identify with your frustrations. I am 5 weeks post-op and my only complaint is that I didn't have it done sooner! In fact, a co-worker recently told me I seem happier now that I can hear. I rarely have to ask people to repeat themselves, and I no longer have to "nod hopefully" during conversations, or wonder if what I just said was way off track from what I was supposed to say, or tell people that I just have ADD and can't pay attention. It's funny because I am the complete opposite of ADD and can multi-task like the wind, so that last excuse was always a little lame. Anyhow, I was in your same position and now I'm not, so I wholeheartedly recommend the surgery--but just follow the doc's orders to try to avoid side-effects.

I, too, was a little worried about the drooping, but went through with it anyway. I've yet to come across someone that has experienced that awful side-effect. I was fortunate enough to not have any vertigo at all, not even immediately following surgery. I was also pain- and nausea-free. My taste was not affected at all. That said, I do still have ringing in my ear. I'm not sure if it is coming from the other ear that still needs to be fixed or if it's coming from both. My doctor said that surgery would probably not fix the ringing. For me, being able to hear is worth it. I mean, I was going to have the ringing either way, right? Losing my hearing changed my a horrible way. Having it back has been total bliss. As I said above, my entire disposition has changed since the surgery, in a good way!

Both of you let us know what you decide!

Tammy - I think we all had the concerns about the potential risks of the surgery prior. My doctors almost scared me away with all the talk of what could happen, but they were just doing their job to make sure I understood there are risks. That said, I had a good doctor. We talked about how many of these surgeries he had performed and how many had different side effects afterwards (only one had a little paralysis after surgery that cleared up within two months). I felt better after having that discussion.

Learn everything you can about how the surgery is done and what causes the risks. It helps being fully informed. Find a doctor who does this surgery regularly. It's not a very common surgery - my doctor performed about 12 a year and this was in the Wash. DC metro area, if that gives perspective.

As for the ringing, it was what drove me to finally have the surgery. I waited about 3 years thinking "I"ll just deal with it", the "it" being just hearing loss in my right ear. I couldn't tell direction of sound, said "huh" and "what" a lot, and drove everyone crazy. It was when the ringing started getting louder and driving me crazy that I finally said OK to surgery. Surgery won't always fix the ringing and it doesn't for a lot of people, but it did for me.

All in all, I'm with Andrea in saying my only complaint is that I didn't do it sooner. It was a good decision for me and I would recommend it to anyone in the same boat. It's still your decision since it is your choice to accept the risks, but risks are very, very minimal.


p.s. Carol - Good to see you back and doing great!
I had my hearing test yesterday! Surgery was November 30, so I am about ten or eleven weeks post op. My doctor was pleased with my improvement, but said that some people take up to six months for complete healing. While my right operated ear is not quite in the normal range, the improvement is significant and he thought that I might be up in the normal range when I go back in August. I knew I had improved just from my own observations, but seeing these numbers made me feel so good! (It must be the scientist in me!)

Right (Operated) Ear:

250Hz 35db (was 55 in September)
500 30db (was 55)
1000 25db (was 50)
2000 35db (was 50)
4000 30db (was 35)
8000 25db (was 35)

SRT (Speech Recognition Threshold) 25 (was 45 in September)
Hi, Guys! I am so glad to see all the new people and the positive reports. I also saw the post where is the results of the stapendectomy aren't perfect, but have patience.

I am 10-weeks post-op and I hope that is a self-affirming message. I need patience today. We have had some wacky weather in Texas lately. And one of the downsides to the changes in weather is my sensitivity to barometric pressure and allergies. Just a few days ago, my operated ear started to feel swollen and I have noticed a decrease in the hearing -- that closed feeling we have all experienced after the surgery.

My ear feels like it needs to pop and I can't get it to. Plus with all the rain we have had and as it starts to get warmer, I will need to be very aggressive with preventative sinus measures.

It just occurred to me that I can date when this really started -- Tuesday, Feb 12. I traveled to Oklahoma City and went through the Arbuckle Mountains. It made my ear pop like crazy and it got really uncomfortable. It hasn't really popped since.

I know it just takes patience. But now that I know what the world sounds like really, it is really easy to be impatient.

Hang in there everybody.
Hello All,

I am new to this board and wish I had found it previously!!
I am now 16 days post-op on my right ear, and hopefully if all successful will get my left ear done next year.
I have been very lucky-- no vertigo, no pain, had my packing removed at 10 days and --WHOOSH!!--sounds galore since then!! It was, and has been, a beautiful thing.

However, my concern---me being the impatient person I am, counting the minutes to get back to my normal exercise routine-- weight lifting and yoga included-- has me worried that I might have pushed my limits too much.
I was told I can do cardio and light weights only, but no heavy weights or yoga for at least 6 weeks.

Today at the gym I tried my weight routine using 1/2 the weight I normally do to ensure I would not strain... however I got anxious and I stopped in the middle of it. Not sure if it was my over-active imagination, but sensed a "shift" in the ear. There was no popping or pain, and as far as I know I was not straining to lift, and maybe I am being overly anxious but... I am not sure if some of the sound in the right ear has deadened since then. Now I am concerned I might have pushed it too much, or if that is my over-active imagination and the level of hearing really has not changed, or if it is a coincidence.

My doc is on vacation until next week so can't check with him. I am now resigning myself to NO WEIGHTS as I have scared myself silly, especially reading some posts hear that advice lifting nothing over the weight of a phone book... yikes!!!

Any thoughts, feedback, or reassuring words from anyone about this?
Hi everyone!
It's almost follow up day w/my ENT. I have noticed lots of great improvements in my hearing since surgery. I assume my packing is just about completely dissolved. I still have trouble filtering out noise from conversation. I guess in time it will even out. I can't wait to get back to my excercise routine. I was told not to do anything other than walking and stretching until I met with the dr. Also can't get water in my ear until I get the okay. Hopefully Thursday will be the day for all real normal activity can resume. I'll let you know.
I hope all the new visitors have continued success with recovery and hearing better each day.
Good luck and thanks for "listening".


Yes, I am going to my Dr's appt on Thursday also. It has been 3 weeks today.
It has been a long 3 weeks, but I have had some improvement. :) It still feels plugged up and I hope the Dr. will take the packing out Thursday.

We went to a boat show on Saturday and the noise level was not to bad. My husband said he never heard me say "what", "huh", "what did you say" the whole day. I guess I did well! :D.

Sometimes it still hurts like an ear ache. Has anyone else experienced this?
I guess I just want to be a 100% yesterday.

Time it all takes time. I have to keep telling my self.

Hope everyone is doing great.

Take care.

Patsy :angel: ;)[/SIZE][/COLOR]
Patsy- That ear ache could be the beginning of some sinus issues, so you might want to take some sudafed or some other medicine that can keep your sinuses clear. I've been dealing with that all winter, and after reading about some of the issues some others on this board have had (with blowing their nose and disrupting their implant) it's important to stay on top of that. I occasionally have what I would describe as an earache type pain, but the sinus meds seem to do the trick. You might just have some sinus pressure and are more sensitive to it.

Hope this helps.


Thank you. I worry if I have to sneeze, blow my noise,and cough I am scared I am going to do something to hurt the implant.

Tomorrow is my big day. :)

Will let you know how I make out.

Thank you again

Have a great day.

Patsy :angel:[/SIZE][/COLOR]
Hi all! I'm new to this board, and I just spent a couple of hours reading through all the posts. I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences!

I have otosclerosis, and I just got hearing aids yesterday. I'm finding them very uncomfortable, but right now I'm still afraid of the surgery. I'm 48 years old and a breast cancer survivor, and I feel like I've seen enough of hospitals. But, I'm tired of saying "what?" all the time! My hearing is down between 40-50 db in my right ear and 25-45 in my left.

Did any of you go the hearing aid route for a while? Do you get used to them? It seems like most everyone is glad they got the surgery - except for the 1%, of course, which scares me.

Thanks for all the info - keep it coming! :)
[SIZE="3"][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Good Day All,

I went Thursday for my check up and it went very well.He had me lay down on this table and looked in my ear. Dr.says I have to get that out of there, he pulls this thing out and my husband say's "Oh my god"!! It hurt like he##.:( I sat up and he showed me. It was really gross, if you take a ear plug and roll it up it was the size of that. It was all dried blood.My ear did hurt really bad for the rest of the day and yesterday.Today is a new day.

I am very happy I went through all of this. I still have the taste thing numbness, and ringing going on but I can HEAR :cool::):D[/SIZE][/COLOR].[SIZE="3"][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]In time he said it will all go away.

My husband told the Dr. it is nice not to hear me say, "what", I didn't hear you, " what did you say". I hear noise I never heard before. He told me give it a few more weeks and I will be good to go. It was only 3 weeks Tuesday.

DW5 I would go for it. I talked to a lot of people who wear hearing aids and hate them. You will be happy you did.You go girl if you are a breast cancer survivor. May God Bless you.:angel::angel:You can do this. I just turned 48 yesterday (2-22 ) and wish i did this years ago..My Dr, was wonderful he said ok get out of hear see you in two months.

Good Luck All & May God Bless.
Please keep me posted.

Take care.
Patsy :angel:

Hello All,

So, my ENT had to cancel my follow up appt. on Thursday b/c of an emergency :(. Won't be able to get in to see him until 3/7. Will need to find out if I must continue w/my limitations (no water in the ear or strenuous excercise). I can't wait to know what the difference is in my hearing. I am noticing such great things finally, even to an extreme. Was in an assembly at school with my students and needed to get cotton b/c the noise was so intense. Now I can understand what my niece meant when she had tubes put in her ears at 3 and said to my sister in law, "Mommy my ear hurts." This was due to not ever hearing properly in her little world which now is wonderful :) as is mine.
Will let you know what the results are soon. Anyone debating on this surgery should definitely do it, no matter your age. I cannot for the life of me think that I almost bought a hearing aid... what an inconvenience that might have been. Good luck to you all!

Hi everyone,
I have been reading this thread for a while now and appreciate everyone's input. I'm not sure if this is how you post but I guess I am looking for assurance as I am very worried. I am about 3 1/2 weeks past my stapedectomy. At 3 days post-op I had the loud noise as many have talked about. This regressed rapidly and I was seen in the office one week later with drainage and consequent infection. My ears remain very blocked and I have constant noise. My surgeon tells me not to worry that it may be 4-5 weeks before I notice any improvement. My hearing now is worse than before the surgery. I'd love to hear :-) from anyone with similar experiences. I am scheduled for an audiogram on March 4. Any thoughts. I'd love to hear from you.
Many thanks, Maureen
Good morning everyone! I am so glad I found this site. I am just beginning my research for this surgery and am happy to find real people who have gone through this to help make my decision. I am 37 with 11,12 YO girls 13 YO boy and....a 2 year old girl so I am especialy worried about how this will change things in my house. My sons voice began changing and I can't hear him at all on my right side...and this is how my journey began. (even though I am almost certain he would be yelling "you dont listen to me" regardless of my hearing capacity :) )

Pressed26 -- I am from Fort Worth Texas and am having a difficult time in finding surgeons for this procceedure here. I am assuming (dont know why) that you went to Owens Ear Center. Can you tell me anything about your experience there. I have an appointment with a dif. doctor tomorrow but I want to be sure since these seem to be the only two. Thanks for any help
Hi all,

Its good to see progress from everyone. Those who aren' seeing it yet....hang in there.

Mommy - I also went to Owens. Robert (Bob) Owens as did a few others on here. I highly recommend him. There is also Dr. Roland at UT Southwestern. He does the surgery too.

Those who are skeptical, scared or however you want to word it about having this surgery...I vote two thumbs up for it. If not now, then when you get to the point of "I can't hear anyways so what can it hurt?"
Don't waste money on hearing aids. They are expensive and frustrating and all they do it make everything louder..not just what you are trying to hear. Can't hear someone talking? OK..hearing aid will turn them up and also every other noise in the area so you still can't "pick" out the conversation you are trying to hear.

I'm enjoying life again. I'm not bummed and frustrated and embarrased all the time anymore. I can go out and enjoy conversations with friends at a restaurant without having them yell at me. I can watch TV without the captioning turned on. I can hear my children (hehe..good and bad that one is). I sleep much better knowing that I won't miss something important like someone trying to break in, a kid crying, dogs going nuts because someone is on the property, etc. is much better.

UPDATE on me...10 weeks post-op...

Still doing great. No lingering issues. I have kept sinus issues under control. 2 more weeks and I can safely blow da nose if needed. Weee.

More later,

Thanks Carol. So far, I have an appointment with a Dr. Altenau in Dallas. His nurse said she has been with him for 20 years and he is an excellent ear surgeon. I asked how many of this particular proceedure he performs a month and she said several a year as it is not as common as some other ear surgeries. Anyone go there or have has anyone done any research that would help me. I don't have a lot of leave time, or a lot of time and I don't want to take time off to go to several doctors. I know its silly, but in this day in age, I feel I can get most of my info on line. :)
Has anyone had their Stapedial or Tensor Tympani Muscles cut in their stapedectomy operation?

How do you feel without those muscles?

Thanks, John
Hi, all!

Well, I broke down and I have called the doctor for a follow-up hearing test. I go in on Wednesday, March 5. I continue to have the popping and I am have limited times when the upper frequencies sound really clear. If I tilt my head, I can hear. Maybe I am being over dramatic, but I thought I was done with this stuff. Seriously, there for about two weeks my hearing was AWESOME. In fact, my colleague at work said today, "I liked it better when you could hear." :( I know he was joking, but still . . . .

I have also noticed a lot of tinnitus the last week.

I know I look ridiculous opening and closing my mouth, trying to get my ear to pop. But I can't help it. When my ear is open, I can hear my own voice in a way I hadn't before. Sometimes it is open, but it is closed more often.

Let's see -- I am about 11 weeks post op. Like I said, I thought I was done with the healing.

Another vote for Dr. Owens. I didn't see any other surgeons so I can't compare, but I have been happy with him. He has been attentive.
Can somebody please, kindly let me know;-

During some stapedectomy operations, doctors cut the tensor tympani and stapedial muscles!

What are the risks of cutting those muscles and how does it affect the ears?

Thank You.
John. I have not had the surgery yet and so far on my research i do not find where those muscles are cut on accident. I do find, however, another condition where the muscles are cut on purpose. Just try to keep looking, there is tons of info on the net.

Mommy thanx for writing.

I have read many papers on the internet ragarding the tensor tympani and stapedial muscles are cut for some stapedectomy operations, this is done so the surgeon can get better access to the stapes bone and also for better visual of the middle ear cavity and a better visual of the stapes bone and oval window.

Somebody here who has had the surgery could be of assistance, I hope somebody can advise me from their expereince.

I need to know what the risks are of cutting those muscles?
How does it affect the ear after cutting either the tensor tympani muscle or the stapedial muscle?

I had a stapedectomy yesterday and was disappointed to hear that the plate floated and the operation was abandoned. The consultant has said that they will need to wait a year to try again, with the hope that the plate has returned to it's normal position in order to proceed with the operation.

Has anyone experienced this before? What are the chances of the plate resuming it's position? etc, etc.

I was hoping for such great things after this op as my hearing has deteriorated, in both ears, to the extent that without my hearing aids I cannot hear a thing ......and I am only 37!!
Hi Maureen,
2 days after my surgery I heard everything in Dolby Digital Sound and was soo happy...but that only lasted for about 5 minutes because my ear was so filled with packing and liquid. The next day, I couldn't hear anything at all but I assumed that it was due to the packing/liquid and that after a month or so my hearing would be awesome. Well, after a month, most of the liquid was gone and my hearing did improve. It has been 2 1/2 months since my surgery and I am still waiting for more improvement but I don't think it's going to happen. My hearing is not as good as it was for those brief 5 minutes right after my surgery ( i will see my ENT about this next week.)
Good luck.
Thank you for your reply. I am now 4 1/2 weeks past my surgery Its been a real roller coaster ride for me. The infection cleared however I was left with a hole in my eardrum that would not heal. This past Monday my surgeon placed a paper patch on it and the "loud" hearing immediately returned. My hearing is noticebly improved. The patch procedure requires me returning several times and having a new patch applied. Unfortunately the success rate with these paper patches is only 50% and I may ultimately need a tympanoplasty (spelling???) I now have constant ringing in the operated ear which can be more than annoying. So...I will wait and see. I have followed your posts and hope that you will continue with improvement.
Regards, Maureen
hello everyone.

My surgery is scheduled for 03/26/08. I am doing the busy, busy thing of getting meals prepared, baby sitting lined up and children prepared. lol (I'm the mommy, its what I do) I am trying to plan it where all the children will be gone most of the day each day. I want to take some of the advice I have found on this thread and rest as much as possible and have also made plans for someone to drive me to work for at least a week when I return the following Monday. I am very excited to just have this done and am confident that I will have good results. I am going to end up using some vacation days for this so I am definately going to relax as much as possible and really am not looking forward to the dizziness at all.

Thanks for letting me vent my excitement.:jester:
Hi Rachelclairek ,

I had my stapedectomy on 9/27/07. My footplate came loose during the surgery ( or maybe it was loose before the surgery and I just didn't know it ).

My doctor had to take out my footplate and attach the prosthesis to the footplate. He then put the footplate back in my ear. Of course both parts are very tiny and they had to be reattached within a millemeter of my inner ear. My inner ear took a real beating and I was hospitalized and unable to move for a few days. :dizzy:

This was the first loose footplate that my doctor had ever encountered. Luckily he attempted to reattach it rather than abort the whole operation. If he had aborted, I wouldn't hear anything at all out of that ear.

I am now 5 months post op and it has been a roller coaster of on again and off again hearing. However, my prognosis is better than my doctor thought it would be. When I can hear, my hearing is better than it was before.

I don't know if a footplate can reattach itself but I do know that it can be removed and then reattached. It isn't the best way to do the operation but at least this may give you hope. I hope I have helped in some way.

Annie in MN
Sorry, this is just a test to see if this board is still open....I have not seen anything new and was wondering if I was using the site wrong.

I hope everyone is doing well. My surgery is in less than two weeks. I am much looking forward to laying in bed and having people feed me. lol. (I say this knowing I will probably still be feeding "the people" which is what we call the children)
Yes, it's still open.

I have nothing new to say until today so I haven't posted.

YAAAY! I can finally blow my nose. This won't mean a lot to some of you, but the ones that have followed my progress since Jan 07...are hopefully smiling for me right now.

All is good, I can hear great. NO opens/closes or other lingering issues.

Life is Good.

Good Luck Mommy, I see you are getting close to your surgery date.

More later,


yep! one week and one day. A little nervous so I check this board 3 times a day. lol.

I did go back and re-read all your post and I am smiling that you can blow your nose.

Have a great day!

I so wish I would have found these board before my surgery. Here is my deal:

Husband and friends have been bugging me about my bad hearing for the past 2.5 years. Finally went for audiogram and follow-up with ENT who dx bilateral otosclerosis with mild/moderate hearing loss. Realized I had been using many different coping strategies (ignoring, joking, reading lips, etc.) I am a teacher, so the hearing loss was affecting my job performance. Tinnitus was never bad enough to complain about; in fact, I just thought it was normal to have a constant quiet high-pitch sound. Was going to get hearing aids, but decided on the stapedectomy.

[U]3/12/08: 1 day until surgery[/U]
Running around like a maniac trying to ready my classroom for a substitute and my home (and 2 small boys) for my absence. Getting really nervous.

[U]3/13/08: surgery day[/U]
Reported to hospital at 6:15 a.m. Taken to pre-op around 6:45, given IV cocktail, anesthesiologist assured me that general anesthesia would NOT make me nauseous (???), remember being wheeled into OR and the room being so very cold, then waking up in recovery. Had to use bedpan twice to pee (yuck.) Was very groggy and just wanted to nap. Remember surgeon saying "hello" in my operated ear, asking me if I could hear (yes) and putting tuning fork on my forehead (yes, could hear it in operated ear.) Finally taken to regular room, and was so surprised when my husband told me it was 1:30! It seemed like I had been in recovery for only an hour or so. I felt like I could hear people's voices from a speaker inside my head from my operated ear. crazy!

No private rooms available, so I just wanted to go home. Nurses said I needed to try some liquids, so I sent my husband for a chocolate shake. I was still very groggy and kept dozing off. When he returned, I started getting dizzy and nauseous and didn't want the milkshake. Every time I moved my head in any direction, even just a few inches, I felt a *WHOOSH* through my head. One time the room started spinning around me for a few seconds. Another time the bed felt like it was tipping over and I was going to fall on the floor. I got up to go to the bathroom and that made the dizziness worse. I tried a few sips of milkshake. The next time I got up for the bathroom I started the puking. Zofran in my IV helped and knocked me out. I decided to stay the night. Had a long dizzy/puking episode later, and they gave me more Zofran and then Reglan. Finally got over that nausea but didn't eat anything until 5:30 the next morning -- one saltine.

[U]3/14/08: 1 day post op[/U]
Nausea not as severe. No puking. Finding ways to move my head very slowly when necessary as dizziness and *whooshing* has increased. Operated ear feels stuffy due to packing; no noticeable change in hearing. Finally keeping down crackers and sent home around noon. I would have stayed longer if my hospital roommate and her visitors weren't so distressing. :mad:

Ride home was OK. Feeling very weak and lightheaded. Got a shower at home and had lunch. Went outside for a bit to watch my kids play. Getting so tired so fast. Have been discouraged and slightly depressed thinking I made a mistake and should have just put up with the hearing loss or gotten hearing aids.

Have had no pain, though!

[U]days 2-6 post op[/U]
Unbelievable how tired I get. Should have been resting much more than I have been. Mild pain in ear/face (sinus?) and jaw beneath operated ear, but regular tylenol works. Packing in ear is getting annoying. Slept 12 hours last night and still woke up tired. Heartbeat in ear is annoying, too, especially since it's rapid at times and seems irregular.

Other than the Tylenol, I've been on prednisone and augmentin. I have not used any of the zofran or percocets the dr gave me.

At this time, I do not think I will be having the stapedectomy on my other ear. I know I may change my mind in a few months if I have significant hearing improvement and when this recovery phase is over.

I hope you get to feeling better and have some of the great results some of the others have had. I must admit..your post makes me more nervous than ever. I am having my surgery on a wednesday and am hoping to return to work the following Monday. (I will have someone drive me to work for about a week) the dizziness is what I am most concerned with. I hope I have given myself enough recovery time but I really have no choice as that is all the sick/vac hours I have available at this time. I have gone back and read everyones posts again trying to ready myself.

I am so thankfull for the people who have taken the time to post here.

Carrie, I do hope you have a much quicker and easier recovery than I am having.

I am off work this week for Spring Break, and am still wondering how I will ever be able to go to work on Monday. I better have significant improvement over the next 4 days. I think I will try driving tomorrow to see how that goes.

I am sorry my post scared you. But I do wish I had had more realistic expectations of how hard it would be. My surgeon kept telling me that "most people" have no dizziness or nausea. I wish he would have prepared me for the worst.

If you can stay in bed and force yourself to relax, I think that is a great strategy. Like I said, I was out back with my kids the day after surgery, sweeping the crumbs off the kitchen floor on day 3, cooking, etc. All the mom stuff we are used to doing and feel guilty for not doing. I would feel OK while doing those things, but the exhaustion would hit like a ton of bricks a few hours later.

So really try to rest!
As you see from reading these posts, no two stories are exactly the same. Everyone reacts in their own way to the surgery. There are common experiences, though, that are great to read about and allow you to recognize when they happen to you. Some get dizzy, some don't. Some are nausous, and some aren't. I don't know that there really is any way to predict what will happen to you. It does seem that the consensus is that it is all worth it when your hearing is restored.... Like with any procedure, there are risks, but if you educate yourself on them and understand what the benefits are, you can go into it realistically.

I'm one of the lucky ones who had no dizzyness or nausea. I agree that the main thing after surgery is to rest, rest ,rest! Take care of yourself, and don't try to do too much too soon. Don't get frustrated with the recovery process....It takes time. I am so glad I had the surgery.

Good luck!

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!


I just got back from my appt with the surgeon. He removed my packing, and it is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE to hear things I never realized I hadn't been hearing -- people talking down the hall, a radio playing in the next room, traffic on the nearby highway. I AM IN AWE! I seriously have tears in my eyes when I think about how grateful I am to have my hearing back; and to think I never even realized how much hearing loss I had.

Despite the rough recovery, I will DEFINITELY be getting the other ear done. I can tell such a difference in the two ears now. At the appointment I told the doc that I felt I was deaf in my unoperated ear, my so-called "good ear." He replied, "Yeah, that's how you've been hearing all along." I cannot believe it was that bad.

So one day after posting so negatively, I just want to encourage everyone that your experience of being able to hear is going to rock your world! This is just so exciting!!

I had to move away from the microwave a bit ago after turning it on b/c it was so loud. HAHA! I told my husband to talk a little more quietly b/c he was hurting my ear. He can't believe it.

I am sure I'll be back with some more examples of how great a day I am having. I am on Cloud 9!!!
YEAHHHHH!!!!!! Becca, that is great news... It really is amazing how things can change from one day to the next, isn't it?

As you read on some of the other posts, you may experience some fluctuation in your hearing as the healing takes place. Just be prepared for that and be careful about blowing your nose or lifting anything...
Thanks for the reminders about remaining realistic regarding my hearing returning in spurts. My dr didn't say anything about not blowing my nose, but I plan to be gentle! I am aware that my quality (?) of hearing is not so great -- I have that seashell/metal can sensation. Sometimes I get a rushing sound like wind (is that tinnitus?) that goes away quickly.

I had a few more moments when I almost broke out in tears yesterday:

1) reading in bed and hearing every word of the conversation my husband was having with my son in the bathroom -- the night before surgery my son had gotten out of bed and was walking around while I was reading in bed, and my husband came upstairs annoyed that I hadn't heard anything! :(

2) sitting in the basement office and hearing a plane. Previously, my son would occasionally say, "mommy, hear that plane?!" And I'd have to *pretend* that I heard it.

3) putting my cell phone up to my operated ear and having to turn the volume to the lowest setting. In the past, I've sometimes even put it on speakerphone to be able to hear in that ear!

4) asking my husband to turn down the TV last night while I tried to go to sleep. Before surgery, I'd know the TV was on b/c I could see the light from it, but couldn't hear anything. (I guess this might be a negative now that my husband has to turn the TV off sooner!)

5) Ok, this one is kind of goofy -- but my husbands BREATHING kept me awake part of the night. We have a king bed and sleep on complete opposite sides, but I swear to god I could hear every gurgle and sniff and breath and swallow he was making. He told me this morning that I asked him during the night to "please stop swallowing." LOL!
One more s/e:
my tongue feels big and things don't taste so great.

On a positive note, I've lost 5-6 lbs since surgery.:)

THAT IS AWSOME!!! lol on the husband breathing. As my surgery time is getting closer I wonder if bed time wont be the only draw back. Ha Ha. right now my family makes fun of me for sleeping through everything. "you didnt hear that storm last night?" "nope!". My husband makes fun of me for snoring....think in about a week...I'll have some of his sleep issues to make fun of. I CAN'T WAIT!
I went to Target today, by myself. Driving is OK, although I feel the need to be super cautious.

Being in the store was overwhelming to say the least. Complete sensory overload!! I almost felt paranoid b/c I heard so many voices and conversations, it was like I was almost jumping to see who was talking to me (no one!) -- I assume this is what everyone else hears, and it will just take my brain some time to filter it all. I was also a bit unsteady on my feet, and was glad to have the cart to lean on. Worst part was when a person in a motorized cart backed up in my checkout line: the *BEEP* *BEEP**BEEP* was so loud I wanted to walk out of the store.

I am nervous about this sensory overload for my first day back at work (at a high school that has concrete walls and floors, so lots of echoing.) I plan to take cotton for my ears just in case. Isn't that ironic? All year I've asked my student to repeat themselves and I now might have to plug my ears. :D
I cannot believe I found this forum. To all of you who have had the operation and have posted your progress, I want to thank you. I hope that all who are still in the recovery stage continue to improve. :angel: To those of you who have gone through it more than once, wow! I hope you never have to go through it again.

I work at a school and have off this week for spring break. With my extra time, one of my main missions was to investigate this surgery. You see, my ENT back in January told me to return in 6 months and that if my hearing didn't change / ears stayed the same, he would refer me to a specialist to see about the possibility of having a stapedectomy. I really knew nothing of it, but had heard of otoschelrosis before. I have had a history of ear infections and wax blocking the ear canal. I usually see my ENT an average of three times a year for ear problems. The last two times, about three months apart, he checked my hearing. It was maybe around 50 db's a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving in the L ear, and around January, around 65db's (I believe). There is usually always a ringing noise, and a definite hearing loss, but yesterday I popped it so many times and tugged on my ear, that I am hearing better today but have to keep popping it so that I can have a slightly better, but still not normal hearing in it. It usually has a "full" feeling, and today it is much better, but I know this will go at any minute. Because I work as a speech therapist, I need to be able to hear children speaking the sound they are working on in isolation, and determine if they are saying that sound correctly or not, and provide feed back to them. I am already having to position them on my "good" ear so that I can hear better. I have already begun to sit with good ear to the speaker, and bad ear to the "noise" in
resteraunts, meetings, etc. I belive I am begining to rely on lip reading in certain situations.

My questions (for now) are: if I need the surgery, I want to have it at the beginning of the summer break, which for me will begin May 23rd. How hard is it to find a Dr. who is highly qualified for the surgery? My ENT has already said he will refer me, but not do the procedure himself.

What is the possibility of being able to fly for July 4th week?

thanks, I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have found this site!
Carrie, Is tomorrow the big day??? Remember to TAKE IT EASY!!!

I think my postop instructions said flying is OK after 1 or 2 weeks, so you should be fine with that timeframe. I started with an independent audiologist last summer -- just to prove to my nagging husband that my hearing was fine. Lo and behold, she said my audiogram was a textbook example of otosclerosis and she sent me to an ENT. The ENT confirmed her diagnosis, and he is the one who did my surgery. He never suggested waiting, but he also did not press me to have the surgery.

Looking back, I always felt a "fullness" or stuffiness in my ears that I just chalked up as a residual effect of a cold. Now I know that it was the hearing loss itself. I also realized how much lip reading I was doing to get by.

Yes! Its tomorrow! feeling a little preassured and dis-organized. But ready! I plan on laying on my behind till Sunday. lol Any other advice will be most welcome. I'll check this site as soon as i get home from hospital.



Yes! Its tomorrow! feeling a little preassured and dis-organized. But ready! I plan on laying on my behind till Sunday. lol Any other advice will be most welcome. I'll check this site as soon as i get home from hospital.



Good luck! I hope you have a speedy recovery that is fairly hassel free!

To all else, did you have trouble getting your insurance to approve the operation? I never thought that would happen, but I saw another thread where someone said that was their case. As I said earlier, I am only in the planning stage in case my DR recommends it.

Becca thanks for your response. I belive we will have to cancel the trip anyway, just due to another possible trip that has a higher priority. Couple a family wedding out of town and this operation, there goes all extra money for a while. :D
Good luck, Carrie!! It is so exciting! We are pulling for you. Be sure to rest a lot.

A note about flight restrictions -- check with your doctor. My ear has been so sensitive to pressure, flying is not anything I want to try yet and I had my surgery over three months ago. Certainly not after just a few weeks.

Spring time in Texas has really put a number on me. I did end up going to see my doctor a few weeks ago because I thought I had lost some of the super-sonic hearing. My test results were lower from my initial post-op test, which was a little disappointing. But he gave me a steroid pack to see if that helped. It did a little. I'll pop it every now and then when it gets muffled and that helps too. NOT THAT I AM ADVOCATING YOU POP YOUR EARS POST-OP. I asked my doc specifically related to my case and he assured me careful popping would be ok. I have a regimen of nose spray and saline, some Clarinex and it is getting there. I have ringing, too, which is a little more pronounced than it has been. It won't be long and we will be in the rainy season and it will be better.

I love how we all coped with this condition -- sleeping on our good ear so our spouse can watch TV, using the good ear for all phone conversations and reading lips. And the utter delight we share when surgery is successful and we can hear all the things we have been missing like breathing, or water leaks. Heck -- even hearing the dryer beep that it is done. Listening to music in stereo is truly divine. Hearing my own voice in a way I have never heard it. I thank God daily for the men and women who developed this procedure and the mechanisms to make it work. It is miraculous!
Since I only found this site yesterday, let me recap what I remember and you all can correct me if I am wrong.

If one has this surgery, remember:

1. sleep, sleep, sleep - it is real important for the healing.
2. No sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose for around one month, minimum
3. Keep allergies / sinuses under check (hard for me to do living in Louisiana).

What else is real important? Please chime in all of you who have gone through the surgery).
Hi all,

Wow, nice to see great results.

Becca- I had tears of joy running down my face reading the post with all the "things I can hear now" list. I so can relate to that and am glad it worked out well for you.

Mylesmom - forgot the most important one....
PATIENCE...PATIENCE...PATIENCE. [B]3-6 months for full recovery and hearing to stabilize.[/B]
Also, I had 3 stapedectomy's in 2007 (last one was a revision)...and insurance company never blinked an eye. If your hearing is worse than 35db, they won't have a problem with it. Just call them to verify but I'm sure it will all be ok.

Carrie - don't worry, go with the flow and rest. Thats all [B]you[/B] can control about the entire recovery. Other stuff will come and go but you can't do anything about it so don't stress yourself out trying. Hang in there and exercise...PATIENCE.

Update on me - lets see....3 months post-op on revision of right ear....
It's all good! :)

More later,

Hey Carrie,

I was just wondering how you are doing. I hope all went well. I'm guessing the dizzies are pretty bad right now. Please remember PATIENCE. The first 3-4 days bite but it will get better.

I'm anxiously awaiting an update on you (but I know you will post when you feel up to it).

Take care!!!

More later,

[QUOTE=CAB1;3502635]Hi all,

Wow, nice to see great results.

Becca- I had tears of joy running down my face reading the post with all the "things I can hear now" list. I so can relate to that and am glad it worked out well for you.

Mylesmom - forgot the most important one....
PATIENCE...PATIENCE...PATIENCE. [B]3-6 months for full recovery and hearing to stabilize.[/B]
Also, I had 3 stapedectomy's in 2007 (last one was a revision)...and insurance company never blinked an eye. If your hearing is worse than 35db, they won't have a problem with it. Just call them to verify but I'm sure it will all be ok.

Carrie - don't worry, go with the flow and rest. Thats all [B]you[/B] can control about the entire recovery. Other stuff will come and go but you can't do anything about it so don't stress yourself out trying. Hang in there and exercise...PATIENCE.

Update on me - lets see....3 months post-op on revision of right ear....
It's all good! :)

More later,


Thanks for the advice! I think that this 3 to 6 months you talk about must last VERY LONG!!!!!!!! For me, I am still not sure if I will need the surgery. My ENT told me to go back at the beginning of June, and then he will review my progress. I just really think that is what he will continue to recommend. Since I work at a school and we finish the last week of May, I guess I will up that appointment and then if he still recommends it, have time to try and go to a specialist to perform the surgery, and set it up for the first week of the summer so that I can rest, rest, and rest, and then have all summer to have patience! I also think that time frame is the time when I have the least allergy problems so it would be great.

Thanks to all of you who post on this subject!!!

Carrol, I hope you are listening to the advice to rest, rest, and rest! And yes, have patience!
My name is Ray and I had the Stapedectomy surgery on March 26, 2008.
The morning following the surgery my Dr called me and asked me how I was feeling and I told him very good and that I could hear. I also told him that the hearing was better than before the surgery but not as good as the left ear ( left ear had Stapedectomy surgery 30 years ago). The DR. advise me that usually the second Stapedectomy surgery we won't see as much difference as when we had the first. On March 28, my hearing got worst. I am now feeling the following symptoms:

1) dizziness
2) sour taste on the right side
3) weakness, tired
4) can't hear that well or at all
5) stuffy ear (packing absorbing gel)

Today is March 30,2008 I still feel all of the above except dizziness.

I also feel the gel in my ear, I can't wait for the gel to disintegrate so I can have a hearing test to compare it with the left ear.

My question is the following: Am I on the right track?.
Hi Ray,

Welcome aboard. Tighten your seatbelt for the bumpy ride.

You certainly on the right track. In your spare time, read all the posts on here if you haven't already. Patience, patience...and...patience.

Keep us posted on your progress.

More later,

Thank You Carol for your support.
I woke up this morning and I immediately picked up the telephone to listen to the dial tone. ;)To my surprise the right ear was almost as good as the left ear and none of the side effects that I had mentioned the previous day were present. The ear doesn't feel as stuffy but I feel the gel moving from side to side inside the ear. I am hoping that by tomorrov I should experience more of the same and not a regression.

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