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Day 4 post-op, and I've had an episode of severe vertigo for the first time today. Fortunately it is better now. I expected that to happen immediately after the op and in the first couple of days, but it didn't, so I was quite surprised to have it for the first time on day 4.

I am a light sleeper, and always sleep with an earplug in my right (good) ear, I didn't need one in the left ear for many years. Last night I woke up and could hear my husband snoring (he is not going to be impressed with me writing this :):)). My first thought was that the earplug must have fallen out of my right ear, but it was still there! Also, he was on my left side. So it seems as if I was hearing the snoring with my operated ear. I must say, it is the first time that I was happy to hear him snoring!!
Hi Soundboy, I am so glad to hear :) that your hearing is so much better after the plug has been removed. I am sure it will improve even further, if I read what lots of other people report on this message board.

My plug comes out tomorrow (day 7 post-op), but I can already hear better than before the op. I even had a telephone conversation today holding the phone at my left ear, something I could not do for more than 6 years.

I agree with you, it is the best Christmas present one could have hoped for!
Hello everyone,
I too had a Stapedotomy on December 2nd. I have wanted to post before now, but immediately after the surgery I could not stand to sit in front of my computer. Having anything close in front of my face actually made me feel sick to my stomach. Could not even read a book or magazine. You want to talk about boredome!! At least watching the TV across the room did not make me sick! So I was not completely bored.
And when I felt well enough to work at the computer it was time to head back to work. I was out for 2 weeks, 1 week before surgery for the Thanksgiving Holiday and 1 week after. So I had 2 weeks of work to catch up on and did not have any free time to post until now.

I have had many of the same results listed here, numb tongue, hear heart beat in operated ear, ringing in ear got much louder, etc . But, I have also had some differences.

I know that I can be very long winded when I type up posts on the Internet. But I wanted to write up my experiences that led me to this point. I feel that some of the things I have experienced over the last 20 years of dealing with hearing loss may help someone else. So please be patient with my ramblings.

Here is my tale.


My hearing loss was what many here on these forums have described, the lower frequencies were worse. I had an almost even hearing loss in both ears. At the time of my surgery I had a real obvious sharply slanted line on my audiogram with lowest db being around 55 for the lower frequencies up to around 15 db for the higher frequencies. My hearing loss became noticeable in my teens and got worse with age, I am now 42.

My first hearing screening was in 1989 at one of the Beltone Hearing Aid reps. She told me that I was too young for hearing aids and told me to go see an ENT, which I did. In 1991 I was referred by the ENT to go see an Ear Specialist, someone who just did ears and hearing. He told me I had an inner ear bone deformity and that it was genetic and asked if I had family with similar hearing loss, which I do. At that time he told me that surgery was an option and that they would replace all three bones of the inner ear, but that I only had 50/50 chance of coming out with better hearing. And even had the same 50/50 chance of coming out completely deaf.

I did not like those odds at all. At the time the hearing loss was not so bad that it impacted my life that greatly. So I declined the surgery

Over the next few years I returned to the ENT occasionally when I had ear infections and such. Each time I went I would ask if there were any new technologies that might help me. Each time I was told that the answer was no and that the odds of the surgery had not changed. So I continued on for years with continually declining hearing and having no foreseeable help on the horizon. I assumed that once my hearing got bad enough the doctor would give me hearing aids and I would have to wear them the rest of my life.

I awoke on Christmas Eve about 5 or 6 years ago with a real bad ear ache. Being Christmas Eve my normal ENT was already out of the office for the holiday. Went to the Insurance website to get our approved doctor list and called several doctors until I could find one who was actually open on Christmas Eve and agree to see me.

When I went to see him, turns out he was a young Dr. Do not know if he was just out of college or not, but he had his own practice. I gave him my history verbally as I did not have any of my records from previous hearing tests. It had been a few years since my last hearing test so he had his audiologist give me one. He tells me that the results of my test indicated typical otosclerosis and he gave me a real high pressure pitch to have surgery. High pressure pitch from a new doc did not sit well with me so I passed on the surgery, got prescriptions to deal with the ear ache and went my merry way.

Over the next few years I kept going to see my old ENT, even after he moved his office to be about a 45 minute drive for an office visit. And all the while he kept making the same recommendation. Telling me that he trusted the findings of that Ear Specialist 18 years ago. He even confirmed that when I felt the hearing got bad enough that I could not function any longer, he would give me hearing aids. But during that time that single visit to the young Dr's office kept nagging at the back of my mind. Was that Dr. right and the Ear specialist wrong?

Eventually I decided that it was time for a new ENT closer to home and work. And one who was willing to consider other options. I talked with my family doctor to get a recommendation for a trustworthy ENT. She gave me two names. I researched both and choose the one I thought seemed to have a good reputation. Even after choosing the Dr, I took several months to actually call and make an appointment. I was actually scared to move forward.

Eventually I got up the courage and made the call. Had a new audiogram done. The Dr. came in to discuss it with me. He listened to my history and I felt that he actually listened to my concerns with the previous diagnosis. He actually pulled up a chair and we sat and talked for awhile. He said he honestly could not 100% guarantee his diagnosis was right and the other Dr. was wrong. But, he has been doing it for years, has done 100's of the stapedotomy surgeries. And he said my results were text book matches for the diagnosis of otosclerosis.
We even talked about what would he do if he opened my ear and found out that all 3 bones needed to be replaced and not just the Stapes. He said he was always prepared for those conditions and that he would have prosthesis ready to go for that situation.

My hearing has gotten really bad. It is effecting my life and my work. I had to do something. I did not want to live with hearing aids. I agreed to the surgery.

Still with me after reading all of that? Good. My main reason is to help other people who may be holding on to a diagnosis that may not match. I guess the moral of my story is to get a second opinion.

Now on to my surgery, and the surprises I got!!

The morning of the surgery I arrived at the hospital. After getting checked in, changed into the hospital gown, getting an IV started, etc, the doctor comes into check on me before the surgery. We talked with the Dr. and he told my wife he would come see her afterwards. I thought it was kind of funny, but the Hospital Policy is that the doctor actually had to verbally confirm with me which ear he was operating on. He then had to sign my head next to that ear. He signed on my neck under the ear. I guess they have had to many people having surgeries on the wrong parts of the body and this is their solution!

The rolled me off to surgery. Last thing I remembered was the anesthesiologist cracking a joke to me as they held a mask over my face and pumped the anesthetics into me. The surgery went well the Dr. told my wife. I never got to see the Dr. after the surgery as he had back to back surgeries scheduled and by the time I awoke he was in the middle of the next patients surgery. As I was waking I remember hearing voices asking me questions. My first words I remember speaking were "I can hear you out of my right ear" (that's the ear I had surgery in) A nurse laughed and said that it was a good sign. The anesthesiologist came in to check on me and I could hear the nurse telling him what I said. He patted my leg and said that was excellent.

Once I was awake enough they took me to the next recovery room. When the wife got in to see me they had a large bandage that covered the entire ear and part of my face. I was happy that I was able to hear thru the bandage. Everything sounded very weird. Kind of like a cave with dripping water causing lots of distortions of the sounds. But, I was able to hear and to me that was a good thing.
I Was on my way home about 3 hours after the surgery ended. That night was my worst experience as the anesthesia drugs made me have lots of nausea and vomiting and I could not even keep water down. But after that night it was gone, with maybe some occasional nausea with the vertigo, but thankfully no more vomiting.

The next day after the surgery I had a post-op appointment at the Dr. office. That is when he surprised me with more details of the surgery. My wife had already told me I was in surgery much longer than we were told it would take. And he told me why. apparently I have very narrow ear canals and a small opening in my skull into the inner ear. The Dr. sliced my ear canal open and the incision went all the way out to about 4 mm onto my face. That part was not too bad, but then he told me he had to widen the hole in my skull to be able to get into it!!!!!!! I was not prepared for that at all!!!!

But, he says that once he got into the inner ear, he found exactly what he expected to find. I did indeed have Otosclerosis and not the inner ear bone deformity that would require all of the bones to be replaced. Once he had access to the bones the rest of the surgery went exactly as planned. He implanted the prosthesis and sealed me up.

After telling me all of this he removed the bandage to inspect the incision. It was covered with butterfly strips and he said it looked fine. Other than the bandage he did not remove any of the surgical packing. He put a cotton ball and a small normal bandaid over the surgical packing. Said to come back in 1 week.

As I left the thought that kept going through my head was "He had to drill a larger hole in my head!!!!!!" That was the surprising part. I was trying hard not to freak out about that revelations. In fact, I knew that I had small ear canals. If I ever used headphones with changeable tips I always had to use the small sized tips or they would not fit my ear comfortably. So I was able to accept that he had some difficulties with that physical aspect of my body. But he had to drill a hole!! DAMN! What makes it crazy is that I am not a small guy. I am 6'3", I have a big head, big feet, big hands, etc. I played football as a defensive lineman in high school and college. I am not a small guy and have never been told that any part of my body was small! So, that was a shock.

But, over all of that. The most important part is that the doctor told me that the inner ear bones were exactly what he expected to find. He told me that I have an excellent chance of having a successful outcome from this surgery.

After leaving I had the wife stop by the pharmacy and purchase some Neosporin and some more of the extra large bandages that the hospital had used. If I had a large incision that led all the way into my skull, I wanted something more on my head to keep out infection than just a small band aid and cotton ball.

Over the next week I had all the same symptoms everyone else has reported, Vertigo, nausea, ringing in my ears, everything tasted like metal, had some mild pain, etc. I could hear things thru the bandages. And loud or high pitched sounds caused discomfort. It is not pain, but I really feel sensitive to the sounds.

Once the 1 week was up I returned as planned. On this trip the doctor removed the first layer of the surgical packing. He also removed the butterfly strip and cuts out the stitches from the incision. He tells me that everything seems to be healing just fine. He tells me that there is additional packing deeper in the ear that he is not going to remove at this time. And to come back in 1 week. He also tells me that I can return to work as long as I feel that I am able.

I return to work the next day. Over the next week things get better the nausea is gone. The vertigo is mostly gone. Only get it now if I move fast or bend over for more than 1 second. Sound in the ear does not change much. I can hear, but it is muffled. And loud or high pitched noises still cause some discomfort.

My main complaints after this are the ear has that uncomfortable plugged feeling, the incision is starting to itch. The itching is helped by using the Neosporin to keep the incision from drying out. Will also keep the scar from being as noticeable.

I also have some numbness in the outer ear and part of my face where the incision is. The doctor tells me that is caused by the cut nerves from the incision and that it will go away in a few months.

1 Week after that visit I go back. This time he removes the last layer of surgical packing. It is the gel layer that is right up against the ear drum. The sensation of removing it feels really weird. But once he does it is like someone pulled a cork out of my ear. The plugged feeling is instantly gone and the sounds come flooding in. Everything sounds really distorted. Almost like they did after surgery. Only negative is that I also got an instant headache after the packing was removed. Do not know if the packing itself caused the headache, or the new sound sensations.

The facial numbness continues. But is not as bad, or maybe I am just getting used to it.

One thing I have not mentioned previously is that I use a CPAP machine to sleep with due to Apnea. I have not been able to use it since the surgery. One of my main complaints is that I have not been sleeping well since the surgery. I was very happy when the doctor tells me I can resume sleeping with my CPAP. So happy that I instantly go home and take a nap with the machine!!

That was two days ago. I have now had 2 nights sleeping with the CPAP and I feel more rested. The hearing has stabilized. Things sound normal. I do not feel as if I am hearing better than pre-surgery yet. But the doctor tells me that there is still healing left to happen and that there is still fluid, blood, etc, still inside the inner ear that needs to drain. He said from this point the hearing will gradually get better.

Also, the loud and high pitched noises continue to bother me. Doctor really did not comment on that.

He wants to see me again in 1 month and at that time we will do my first hearing test since the surgery.

So, that is where I am at in my journey. I am not done, but I am well on my way. And I still have to have this done to my left ear.

I am certain that I have missed parts of my story that I wanted to tell. But, it is late and I have been typing on this for over an hour. I will post more as I think of it.
Hi Everyone

It's day 11 post-op for me, and things are just fine!! The packing (everything) has been removed on day 7 (which seems to be sooner that some other surgeons remove the packing) and I can really hear very well. Immediately after my visit to the doctor, all the sounds were strange and background noises sounded too loud (almost the same as when I tried out a hearing aid 4 years ago, but not quite as bad). Four days on it has definitely improved. The tinnitus and all the other "strange sounds" are also much less.

I am really grateful, I only had one episode of vertigo and no nausea whatsoever - the only disadvantage of not having any nausea is of course that I did not lose a kilo or two pre-Christmas, but I guess that's OK ;);).

Good luck to everyone on your recovery.
I had my stapedectomy last Friday & had absolutely no pain or nausea. I took Vicodin for a few days just to prevent pain but can honestly say it wasn't really pain, just discomfort. I have a mild ringing in my ear and when I walk it sort of sounds/feels funny.

I wasn't dizzy except for a little the day & day after surgery but just today (5 day's post op) I am dizzy again & hear fluit moving around in my ear. Maybe I was trying to do too much?
Hey Everyone! I've been lurking for some time and finally decided to register so I could chat with you. I had a stapedectomy one week ago today (Dec. 29th). I would say everything so far has been pretty typical...vertigo for about 3 days, pain (but not horrible), no nausea (thank goodness!!!).

What I have to ask about, though, is this miserable pressure in my head and the fact that that all sound (both ears) seems muffled. I feel like BOTH ears are stopped up and that my entire head and neck are throbbing. My jaw and neck even feel almost bruised. I don't have any drainage, no fever, no redness, etc...so I don't think there is any infection, but it really is frustrating. I go tomorrow for my one week post op appointment, so I guess we'll see what they say then.

I haven't really noticed any improvement in my hearing yet either. There have been a few times that I thought MAYBE it was better for a second, but I certainly haven't had any EUREKA! moments. I'm trying to be patient, but I guess I really thought that after a week I would be feeling better. TIA for "listening".
Hello everyone. I too am at 5 weeks post-op. Things are better for me too. Still have some pains and sudden bursts of loud tinnitus (compared to my normal low background noise tinnitus) Hearing is not yet back to pre-surgery levels. This has me concerned, but I am trying to be patient and calm. Well, as much as I can be!!

My first post-surgery hearing test is still 3 weeks away. So I went to a music store to get a tuning fork to perform my own tests. The store owner told me that he does not get much requests for those anymore. Instead he showed me a small key-chain device that emits the 6 tones of a guitar, notes E,A,D,G,B, and e. Only cost $12 so I bought it. When comparing both ears I can definitely tell that the surgery ear hears the tone lower volume and pitch than the non-surgery ear.

If you took the time to read my other very long post you may remember that I posted that the incision from my surgery came out of the ear canal and onto the side of my head. Because of this I had lots of swelling and numbness. It has gotten much better, but still have some of it even today, 5 weeks after surgery. So I am hoping that is the cause of the hearing not recovering better.

To Sarahebeth,
The jaw soreness, and maybe even your neck, may be related to your Eustachian Tube which runs from the inner ear to the throat and passes real close to the jaw joint. The tissues around the tube are most likely inflamed from the surgery and you are feeling it in the jaw and neck muscles.

I had headaches for the first couple of weeks after the surgery. Had one or two days of sinus drainage that caused some stuffiness in my head and non-surgical ear. Took over the counter Zyrtec to clear it up.

As for not hearing any better. Do you still have surgical packing in your ear? I had 2 layers of packing. One was gauze that they removed 1 week after surgery and the other was a gel packing down deep in my ear that they did not remove until the 2 week mark. Things got much better then, but as I posted above. For me they have not approved to better than pre-surgery. But everyone has a different body and heals at a different rate.

If you have made it 1 week with little or no complications, you are doing real well. Be patient and let the ear heal.
Thanks, guys for getting back to me. What everyone said makes sense and is reassuring. I actually had my post op appointment today. He took out the stitches and then "vacuumed" out the gel stuff (which wasn't bad, but a little nerve wrecking). He then plugged my "good" ear and whispered numbers until I could hear them. He said I heard them at a moderate whisper. He was very close when he did it, so I'm not sure how to measure the amount of gain. I do go back in 2 more weeks, the 21st, for my official first post op hearing exam. That should be interesting.

As far as the muffled feeling, I think it has a LOT to do with pressure issues as well as healing. Sometimes it's so muffled and full feeling that it makes me crazy...then a few hours later it feels almost normal for a short while. Oh, and sounds are so strange still...like I have water in my ears. Even riding in the car...the wind on the car and the passing cars seemed SO LOUD compared to the radio inside the car. Strange.

Anyway, I feel like I'm posting my thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness...sorry for that. I hope it makes sense. There is just soooo much that I'm analyzing, processing, and dealing with each day. I'm so glad others understand.

Oh, and in case anyone is curious, I have a mixed loss. My left was operated on and before surgery I had a PTA of 77 dB. My right ear is at 38 dB. I am 32, a mama to two little girls (5 and 18 months), and am a teacher.:)
Huh. I didn't know there were two different types of surgeries. For mine, I was completely sedated. He peeled back my eardrum, took a piece of tissue from that little cartilage knob in front of my ear (guess it has a name, but I don't know it), used that tissue to close off my inner ear (I think that's what he said he did with it), took out the stapes, and replaced the stapes with teflon/titanium stapes. He said my "ear was wide open" with no nerves in the way and just took 45 minutes. I also had about 5 stitches on the the "knob" that he took the tissue from. I had all packing and stiches removed one week post-op (yesterday). Does that sound pretty typical?

Side note...my husband just sat down to play the piano per my 5-year-old's request...I feel like I have my head in a bucket.

Hey, how long were you told not to lift anything heavy? I have a 21 lb 18 month-old. Not being able to pick her up is breaking my heart. We've had to do a lot of floor sitting.
It is now day 6 post op. I put my headphones to the tv on my operated ear and I can just barely hear sounds from them. My ear is still a long way from
clearing all the fluids. After reading the other posts here It looks like weeks
before things settle down. Monday I get the stitches removed
from the place where the doctor took tissue to pack the eardrum.
How long before the packing is removed?
Next week I am back to work, hopefully full days although I am leaving open the option to do 1/2days if I start to feel overwhelmed.
Meetings are the worst for me, I just cannot keep up with the conversations all around me. I am an Engineer on new product design and I have people
coming to my office all day long. It will be interesting to see how well I cope.
I wish you all the best. This experience has given me a much greater understanding for the difficulties we face when our health is less than perfect.
Hi, this is my first post. I had a stapedectomy on my right ear on Friday 1/29, so I am 6 days post-op now. First of all I want to say how helpful it has been to read through all of these posts and hear other people's recovery stories. So, thank you for sharing all that you have been through -- it has been a huge comfort to read that I am not alone in my symptoms.

My doctor had told me that I could expect to be pretty much back to normal in 2 - 3 days, so I am feeling totally overwhelmed by my side effects. But I see here that they all seem normal. My biggest issue is that I am still dealing with the dizziness/vertigo and can not drive. My doctor describes the dizziness as mild because I can stand and walk with no nasea, but I stumble a lot and have to have my hand constantly on the wall for balance. When I am sitting still it still feels like the room is in motion. I am a single mother and since I wasn't aware that I might not be able to drive I didn't make arrangements for my kids to have rides, groceries in the house, etc. I'm scrambling trying to get enough help to get through the day.

I realize there is huge variation between people. When did everyone's dizziness subside? When were you driving are returning to normal activities? Like everyone else, I am having some pain and hearing a lot of weird sounds in the operated ear: humming, heartbeat, echos, and my own voice is very loud. The packing is still in place and I don't think I am really hearing much of anything from outside my head at this point. I find all the noises very distracting and have difficulty concentrating sometimes. Does that make sense? Like I will be in the middle of a sentence when a new tone starts, and I lose my train of thought. I've had a lot of "dumb blonde" moments since the surgery (more than normal!).

I know other people have talked about the weird taste thing. My doctor did warn me that I might have a strange metallic taste for up to a few months post-op. For the first 3 days I had virtually no taste. I could (and did) rub a lemon on the right half of my tongue and taste NOTHING, same with sweet tastes. I was on a taste-seeking odyssey, trying to figure out what I could taste. I am able to taste salty flavors on the left side of my tongue. And for the past few days I have had what someone described as a "buttery" metallic taste on the right side of my tongue. I'm going to assume that means the chorda tempani nerve is beginning to heal. I was hoping without taste sensations I would eat less and maybe lose a few pounds, but I seem to be eating all the time. :(

What else? I feel like my doctor is a lot less restrictive than others. My only post-op instructions were to use the drops, avoid "heavy lifting" for a few days, and to sneeze only with my mouth open. No work restricitons or anything. I have heard people talk about being advised to avoid loud noises. No such instructions for me, and when I asked my doctor about attending a rock concert at the Civic Center with my daughter on the 14th (2 weeks post op) he was totally fine with that. I want to err on the side of caution, and I don't feel like that is the advice I am getting.

My first doctor's appointment is on Monday the 8th (10 days post op). Not sure what he is going to do then. He used dissolvable stitches and packing. He told me he won't remove packing at that appointment because the ear is still fragile. However, if there is still some packing there at the next appt. (20 days post op) he will use a vacuum extrractor to remove it then. Yikes! It is at that second appointment that he will do an audiogram and get early hearing results from the proceedure. I'm sure you can all relate to the struggle to keep the anxiety in check about improved hearing.

Right now the dizziness and inablility to drive are feeling like a real disability. I know it will pass in time and that this is all a slow journey. I'm just looking forward to being a little more self-sufficient. Thanks for all your posts so far, they have been tremendously helpful to me. And thanks, in advance, for any info or advice you may have.

Tania
[QUOTE=TaniaHop;4178310]Hi, this is my first post. I had a stapedectomy on my right ear on Friday 1/29, so I am 6 days post-op now. First of all I want to say how helpful it has been to read through all of these posts and hear other people's recovery stories. So, thank you for sharing all that you have been through -- it has been a huge comfort to read that I am not alone in my symptoms.

My doctor had told me that I could expect to be pretty much back to normal in 2 - 3 days, so I am feeling totally overwhelmed by my side effects. But I see here that they all seem normal. My biggest issue is that I am still dealing with the dizziness/vertigo and can not drive. My doctor describes the dizziness as mild because I can stand and walk with no nasea, but I stumble a lot and have to have my hand constantly on the wall for balance. When I am sitting still it still feels like the room is in motion. I am a single mother and since I wasn't aware that I might not be able to drive I didn't make arrangements for my kids to have rides, groceries in the house, etc. I'm scrambling trying to get enough help to get through the day.

I realize there is huge variation between people. When did everyone's dizziness subside? When were you driving are returning to normal activities? Like everyone else, I am having some pain and hearing a lot of weird sounds in the operated ear: humming, heartbeat, echos, and my own voice is very loud. The packing is still in place and I don't think I am really hearing much of anything from outside my head at this point. I find all the noises very distracting and have difficulty concentrating sometimes. Does that make sense? Like I will be in the middle of a sentence when a new tone starts, and I lose my train of thought. I've had a lot of "dumb blonde" moments since the surgery (more than normal!).

I know other people have talked about the weird taste thing. My doctor did warn me that I might have a strange metallic taste for up to a few months post-op. For the first 3 days I had virtually no taste. I could (and did) rub a lemon on the right half of my tongue and taste NOTHING, same with sweet tastes. I was on a taste-seeking odyssey, trying to figure out what I could taste. I am able to taste salty flavors on the left side of my tongue. And for the past few days I have had what someone described as a "buttery" metallic taste on the right side of my tongue. I'm going to assume that means the chorda tempani nerve is beginning to heal. I was hoping without taste sensations I would eat less and maybe lose a few pounds, but I seem to be eating all the time. :(

What else? I feel like my doctor is a lot less restrictive than others. My only post-op instructions were to use the drops, avoid "heavy lifting" for a few days, and to sneeze only with my mouth open. No work restricitons or anything. I have heard people talk about being advised to avoid loud noises. No such instructions for me, and when I asked my doctor about attending a rock concert at the Civic Center with my daughter on the 14th (2 weeks post op) he was totally fine with that. I want to err on the side of caution, and I don't feel like that is the advice I am getting.

My first doctor's appointment is on Monday the 8th (10 days post op). Not sure what he is going to do then. He used dissolvable stitches and packing. He told me he won't remove packing at that appointment because the ear is still fragile. However, if there is still some packing there at the next appt. (20 days post op) he will use a vacuum extrractor to remove it then. Yikes! It is at that second appointment that he will do an audiogram and get early hearing results from the proceedure. I'm sure you can all relate to the struggle to keep the anxiety in check about improved hearing.

Right now the dizziness and inablility to drive are feeling like a real disability. I know it will pass in time and that this is all a slow journey. I'm just looking forward to being a little more self-sufficient. Thanks for all your posts so far, they have been tremendously helpful to me. And thanks, in advance, for any info or advice you may have.

Tania[/QUOTE]
Hi TaniaHop.
I had mine done on the 2d (3 days ago). Compared to some of the others, I've had a pretty uneventful recovery - no sickness, very little dizziness, and taste is only a bit bland - nothing metalic. Praise God. I am freaking out a little because as happy as I was to read that someone else is having "blond moments", and blond friends, please forgive the phrase, I am too! I've blown my nose TWICE! The second time after not less than 10 seconds before, I reminded myself that I wasn't supposed to! I heard and felt my ear open up. I told my doctor and she asked me to hum to see if there was a difference on either side, which there is not (except for the muffled sound from the packing). I read a comment the other day that said something about not worrying about the nose blowing thing - but I'm worried!! Any one else get forgetful and blow your nose? If so, did it do any damage?? Help!
Hello everyone! :wave:

Deafleopard, thanks for your encouragement and support. It was good to "hear". Bunny02, hang in there. I'm sure the nose blowing thing is going to be fine.

I had my first post-op appointment today (10 days out). The doctor removed the stitches behind my ear lobe (where he took the fat plug). Said everything looked fine. He wants me to give the dizziness another week or two. At that point if it is still troublesome he said he can give me some exercises. He is not worried about a leak -- which is good news. But I am still unable to drive which is debilitating as a single mother.

With the tuning fork thing, when he placed it on my forehead I don't think I heard anything. On my left front tooth, I definitely heard the humm in my right (operated) ear. Does anyone know what this means? What is the test for? Somewhere I read someone using names for these tests; if I could find that I could google it.

There is still packing in my ear, and he didn't remove anything. I think the majority of the packing he used was disolvble. He said that 75% is still in place, but he could see a small area of my ear drum. In two weeks he will vacuum-extract the gel pack and then do a preliminary audiogram. I am anxious for those results. I definitely hear less at this point than before surgery, but I know the packing is contributing to that. There is still healing to be done.

The doctor said it is a good sign that I am experiencing less of the loud sounds inside my head. (Originally my own voice was really loud on the operated side, soda in my mouth was super loud, as was eating and i constantly heard my own heartbeat.) He explained that is a sign of conductive hearing loss, which was caused by all the packing and swelling. So that is getting better.

That all for now. How is everyone else doing? Looking forward to hearing back!!
TaniaHop: The tuning fork is a quick way to see if your stapes is still absorbing the sound rather than transmitting it to the inner ear. Basically, those of us that had Otosclerosis, we would hear just about everything internal. Going to the dentist for me gave me headaches if I had cavitys filled, and checking 'loud' food caused me not to hear what people were saying. However, once I had the surgery and went in for my 1 week post-op, the tuning fork was VERY softly heard in my left ear whereas before hand it was pretty loud. You hearing the tuning fork in your head still isn't a bad sign since you still have the packing in there and it's still early in the recovery process. Keep your head up though!!! :)

Luscious38: Stay strong and be patient on the packing! It was BEYOND frustrating for me and I was thankful that I only had the cottonball packing in there for just 1 week compared to others that had to have it in there for longer.

As for washing hair, I'm a guy with short hair so it was WAY different for me than others :) I did the ol cotton ball covered in vaseline and ended up putting a plast cup over my ear while bending to the side (I'm a tall guy with a lower shower head go figure!). If you can get someone to wash your hair for the 1st week or so, that's a bonus :)

Just keep the patience going everyone, it's NOT a quick recovery but can be WELL worth it down the lond run :)

Christian
Hearingbetter: Good luck on your continued recovery and keep us posted on how it goes for you! I would have freaked out had my hearing gone completly away after the surgery, even for just a short period of time! I couldn't imagine how that felt, but I'm glad that it popped and it 'sounds' like things are progressing!

Bunny: Patience patience patience lol It sounds like your recovery's been going along pretty well too and that's great to hear :)

As for MY recovery, I'm coming up on 3 months post-op as I had it on November 30th, and even though I have another 3 months before I believe is long enough for my own 'recovery', I've gotten a little frustrated lately. My tinnitus has come back with a little bit of an attitude in my opperated ear lately with it being louder. Not sure what that means but I'll hopefully know here shortly as I go in for an appointment. My right ear, (good ear), still hasn't been able to pop which has been perhaps the most frustrating thing about this entire surgery, and unfortunatley, I'm starting to get used to it. I've been slightly 'force' popping my ears and my left ear has been able to pop every time, but not my right. BAH! I call BS! Ok that's just my venting, don't mind me :) The LAST thing I want to do though is for them to go in and do something to my 'good' ear, even put in a slight cut to relieve the pressure. Keep your fingers crossed for me if you would!

Christian, ThePonderousMan
Hi TaniaHop:
I am almost 4 weeks post-op (Feb. 16) . Just as you described, had more side effects than expected and the dizziness has become worse. My doctor prescribed steroids (as hearing results weren't great) and now I'm on day 9 of prednisone. Wondering if you still feel dizzy and what if anything you did against that?
good luck on your recovery!
[QUOTE=lcwong;4274814]I have my stapedectomy done on my left ear 23rd March 2010 . The first two days after operation I can hear sound very clear and loud. Then I have vertigo and lasted 3 days. Since then my hearing deteriorated. I cannot hear when people talk at normal pitch. 3 months already after my operation but my hearing is not improving. I think my hearing improve 20% after my operation. In fact my unoperated ear is not very good too. Has anybody experience after 3 months operation and not improving?[/QUOTE]

Sorry to "hear" about the 3 months and no success of any sort. Do you recall anything that may have happened after the 2 weeks? The metal is attached via tissue from another part of the inner ear and if it got loose from a brief incident...

Also, do you smoke? Drink excessively? Etc? May have an affect in the adherence of the tissue to heal fast enough, etc. My doc told me that he's had people with "issues" who did not heed the need to follow all directions for this procedure to be fully effective. I have no idea if he was just covering for himself but why would he tell me that since I obviously am recovering "according to plan?" Not sure. He said out of the 1000s he's treated, there are a few with unexpected results. With only a few cases, I suppose it's difficult to draw up conclusions that there are patterns to look for.

I still am petrified that an inadvertent kick on the ear by my 2 year old playing may cause the drum to burst due to its only partial healing.

I hope that you can get a resolve soon - at least an answer! Can you get a scan done to see if it's loose? A second opinion? If I recall, 3 months is full recovery-time. My doc says he won't touch the other ear until 6 months post-op to make sure all is good. Do you have excessive conductive hearing?
Day 10 post stapedectomy. The dizziness is still present and was quite bad early on, but I am beginning to drive again. It seems like it is getting a little bit better every day. I am hopeful to resume my exercise routines next week. I am an avid yoga practitioner and I'm hoping to do a beginning class next week. Anyone have experience with yoga post surgery? My ear is still pretty packed with stuff but my doc said 12 days to two weeks before beginning exercise routines again. Another appointment in a week and a half which will include a hearing test. Glad to have found this link. I read it constantly during the bad times of dizziness post op and it kept me hanging on! :wave:





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