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Hello. I had a stapedectomy on Wednesday Feb 23rd at the Lippy clinic in Warren OH. Dr Berenholz performed the procedure. I am currently about 48 hours post op.

Post op hearing test showed a substantial increase at (I think) 250 & 500 hz. They said the test showed the air hearing level to be pretty close to the level of nerve sensitivity, so that would be about a 30 db improvement in those frequencies.

I had no nausea, but I had pretty intense dizziness like I never felt before during the first few hours, however it subsided enough to the point where I could get dressed and walk around by about 4-5 hours post op. Shortly after that I was discharged. At 48 hours post op, there is still some dizziness when I move my head too rapidly (worse if I move up and down than side to side) but there is noticeable improvement every day.

Other side effects... mild headache, dull pain around the outer ear and right side of my jaw, and the right side of my tongue is a little bit numb. I also have some high pitched tinnitus that comes and goes, which is different than the tinnitus that I had before the surgery, which was more of a low pitched roar or a whooshing sound, kinda like putting your ear on a seashell.

I also had a tremendous amount of bleeding the first day which I did not expect. This seemed to be aggravated by chewing/jaw movement so between that and the numb tongue, I guess I don't have to worry about sitting around overeating while I convalesce. There is also a little bit of pain in my ear when I chew.

As for the hearing, with all the packing in, its hard to evaluate. I can hear some low frequencies that I could not hear before, even through the packing, I guess I would maybe call it the "barrel effect" that some people describe. Or maybe its some kind of resonant peak inside the ear due to the packing? I will say that some low pitched noises are louder already, for example I could hear car engines from outside in my operated ear but not my unoperated ear. I expect this to continue to improve as my ear heals and the packing comes out. Due to the post op hearing test which they do before they put the packing in, I know the procedure was at least initially successful. I have not yet experienced any side effects that would indicate nerve damage, so unless the prosthesis has slipped since I left the clinic, I have no reason to believe there should be any problems. Not all surgeons conduct this post op hearing test, but its incredibly helpful for both the surgeon and the patient. You don't have to wait several weeks to find out if the surgery worked or not, you know pretty much right away.

I have nothing but great things to say about the Lippy clinic. I would highly recommend them. My only complaint was that they didn't give me enough drugs to sleep through the 3 hour post op evaluation period, so I was a bit uncomfortable during that time, but no complaints otherwise. Its been mentioned on the board before but its worth repeating: find the best surgeon you can to do this procedure. I can only imagine how much worse this would be with an inexperienced surgeon.

I'll check back in periodically to update my progress. I hope somebody out there finds this info helpful!
Hi mspgh...

you and I are only a few days apart from our surgeries. I had mine on Friday Feb 17th..so today I am one week post op. Packing out this Monday... I had the same as you with the dizziness..but not as bad this surgery as the last..the tongue which I still have today and the pain in the ear too.. It is not as bad now and when I do find it is uncomfortable taking two tylenol does the trick. I too can say that after my surgery I could hear sounds around me..it was amazing..I was in recovery and could hear the nurse on the side of me talking with her patient and I even closed my good ear to see if I was actually hearing. Before the surgery that ear only had 30% hearing. I could also hear my finger rubbing my cotton ball and also my ear which I have not heard forever.. I did notice though that two or three days after everything changed I got so scared..couldn t hear the rubbing at all..cotton ball or my ear..nothing.. My ear had closed up so I just wanted to share this with you...It took about two or three days and I noticed things were starting to change again..I can hear the cotton ball again being rubbed and also my finger on the ear..The sound is different if I block the good ear but I know there is a lot of packing in there.This same thing happen to me last year with my other ear too.. I wanted to ask you..have you noticed any changes in your vision...get a big head so to say at times..almost like foggy..I had this for several day and just noticed yesterday my vision seems to be getting back to normal...this happened to me with my other surgeries also...I had two revisions on my right ear last year and this year was my left...

\I will agree...so worth going thru this...would also say make sure you have a great surgeon that has done this surgery many many times. This is the same surgeon that did my very first stapedectomy back in 1993, my incus eroded why my prosthesis became unattached..So I had alot of confidence in him...

GOOD LUCK TO YOU..and remember...take it slow..don t do to much to fast.not blowing of your nose ..sneeze with your mouth open too...I will not do anything for the next 6 weeks while I am recovering..only walking..my family knows that lifting is not something I will do so my kids will be coming with me food shopping for alittle..even bringing laundry down into the basement..won t do it..just to risky with the balance.. I would say that with my last surgery the 3 month mark seemed to be where I noticed things were getting back to normal..I still had a balance issue here and there but that has always been me..

Keep me updated on your progress
CINDY
I think I have the dissolving packing, they told me to start putting drops of glycerine and peroxide in my ear about a week before my post op visit on march 23rd. I think I have a cotton ball in the ear canal too, which I think I am supposed to remove in a week. I have to call the clinic to make sure I understand that part correctly though, its not something I want to mess with...

the weather here in pittsburgh has been nice, and its tempting to go out, but I think I need a couple more days for some more of the dizziness to wear off before I feel comfortable walking around the neighborhood.

My otosclerosis was moderate on the right side and mild on the left. I am hoping that I wont need surgery on the other side for a while. I have also been taking a flouride supplement since december, I dont think that I have been taking it long enough to tell if its slowing the progression though.

do you take a flouride supplement? do you know if the otosclerosis has spread to your cochlea?
10 post op...

I am very excited to get the packing out this evening...It is def. driving me crazy...just that there is something stuffed in my ear feeling... If I block my good ear I can def. hear something..nothing loud but I can hear something... I have noticed that if I talk I get this chipmunk voice on that side which is my own... and also some voices that I am hearing are coming in with an echo and also chipmunk sort of..I do believe this is part of the healing process... I kind of remember this back in 93 when I had the first surgery done...getting really scared because everything had that underwater sound..which I guess I could say is like this... I will be curious to see what the hearing is like when the packing is removed...

Will update later

Cindy
Quick update today... not too much change, my ear feels clogged,

I think the packing is loose and its starting to dissolve. Either that or there is fluid in the ear. Most of the time when I am standing upright the ear feels sort of open where low frequency sounds are getting through but not much of the highs. But then if I lay down it seems to get blocked up and I can't hear as well.

I get the occasional cracking and popping noise, which I suspect is packing or fluid or dried blood moving against the eardrum. Chewing/talking/swallowing sometimes makes it pop. This is all pretty much the same as its been since Tuesday morning.

There isn't really any pain at all at this point. I think this is the first day where I won't take any pain meds at all (last two days I took some ibuprofen for a dull/mild earache and headache).

I have maybe a teeny tiny little bit of lingering dizziness, but its very very mild.

Every day I feel a little better, although there hasn't been much change in the hearing since Tuesday morning. I'm getting a bit impatient actually, because I want to clean my ear out. I have a feeling that I would hear much better if I could get the gunk out. Unfortunately I'm not due for the post op appt until March 23rd...

I still have some tinnitus. I noticed the same low pitched tinnitus in my left (unoperated) ear now, which was previously my "good" ear. I never noticed tinnitus in that ear pre op. I suspect its my brain adjusting to all the low frequency info thats now getting through in my operated ear.
Your tinnitus change sounds exactly like mine post-op. High pitched tinnitus is typical of high frequency hearing loss. I found a hearing test online that confirmed my concerns. Operation fixed the conductive hearing but broke the high frequency sensorineural hearing. There is a short window of time when prednizone can help.
I messed around with an online hearing test a little bit yesterday, I think the hearing in the operated ear starts to fall off around 6000 or 8000 Hz.

I am finding more and more info that seems to indicate this type of extended high frequency hearing loss is common, even in "successful" stapedectomies.

Its still early though; I'm only in week 3 post op. Many people don't report any improvements at all until the third week. I'll post another update once I start using the drops next week.
3 full weeks post op and now entering the 4th week...

Nothing new to report really. I am still feeling better each day. The operated ear still hasn't opened up fully, although I am pretty sure there is still alot of packing in there. I started the glycerin and hydrogen peroxide drops and there is alot of crackling and fizzing when I put the peroxide drops in the ear. The nurse from the Lippy Clinic also said not to expect great hearing until the appointment next week when I get the remnants of the packing out.

I still have the tiniest bit of unsteadiness or dizziness at times. Nothing major, but just enough that I can tell my equilibrium is different than pre-op.

High-pitched tinnitus slowly seems to be going away too. I almost don't ever notice it at all now except in very quiet environments.

I hear quiet bass & mid frequencies SO WELLl now in the operated ear, but very loud bass sounds are super distorted and almost painful. I almost want to think the distortion is maybe due to gelfoam packing vibrating against the eardrum? Or maybe everything just needs to heal and settle down a bit more... High frequencies seem to come and go, but most of the time the ear feels blocked and muffled.

Still trying to be patient, I think thats been the hardest part!
[QUOTE=mspgh;4944407]3 full weeks post op and now entering the 4th week...

Nothing new to report really. I am still feeling better each day. The operated ear still hasn't opened up fully, although I am pretty sure there is still alot of packing in there. I started the glycerin and hydrogen peroxide drops and there is alot of crackling and fizzing when I put the peroxide drops in the ear. The nurse from the Lippy Clinic also said not to expect great hearing until the appointment next week when I get the remnants of the packing out.

I still have the tiniest bit of unsteadiness or dizziness at times. Nothing major, but just enough that I can tell my equilibrium is different than pre-op.

High-pitched tinnitus slowly seems to be going away too. I almost don't ever notice it at all now except in very quiet environments.

I hear quiet bass & mid frequencies SO WELLl now in the operated ear, but very loud bass sounds are super distorted and almost painful. I almost want to think the distortion is maybe due to gelfoam packing vibrating against the eardrum? Or maybe everything just needs to heal and settle down a bit more... High frequencies seem to come and go, but most of the time the ear feels blocked and muffled.

Still trying to be patient, I think thats been the hardest part![/QUOTE]

Similar to what I had, the loud sounds will be worrisome for quite awhile. They get better with time but it takes time. Also it took my brain awhile to adjust to the sounds, at first I had difficulty understanding speech but as time went by it greatly improved. Dr "B" is a "rock star!!"


Hearing great without HAs after 3 decades with them.
So I am now at about 33 days post op...

I had my follow up visit last Friday and everything looks good. Apparently my fears of hearing loss were a bit premature as my air conduction hearing test on the operated ear shows that hearing has been restored to a normal range up to at least 8kHz. I do feel that extended high frequencies over 8kHz might have been affected a little bit by the surgery but I'm not going to worry about it too much since the overall improvement in my hearing is absolutely TREMENDOUS. Dr Berenholz said there was even a bit of overclosure at around 2kHz where my air conduction is now better than the bone conduction was in that ear pre-op.

Physically I feel pretty good, all the post op side effects are basically gone and all of my restrictions have been lifted. I don't need to limit physical exertion anymore so I started jogging a bit and I resumed some light exercise without any problems.

Obviously, the greatest benefit is a drastic improvement in my hearing. I can keep the volume on the TV turned way down now; I don't have trouble following conversations anymore; I can hear cars and dogs barking and all kinds of noises from outside with the windows closed (I do live in an old house with no insulation in the walls); music sounds better and more detailed-particularly the bass and lower mids, although I am still pretty sensitive to LOUD bass (I guess I have no acoustic reflex anymore so I have to be very careful about loud noise exposure for the rest of my life).

They only minor issue I am having is alot head congestion from a terrible cold I had last week, and the operated ear has been popping alot when I talk and swallow. I think this is probably just due to some fluid in my ears and sinuses and it seems to be working itself out. I was a little bit worried the cold was going to spread to my inner ear but it did not.

Just a couple things about the experience overall...

First, be patient! Its been posted on here a bunch of times, and I sort of got a little worried and impatient over nothing, so you have to remember to relax, take it easy, and be patient while you are recovering.

Second, I give very high marks to the Lippy Clinic and their experienced staff. I highly recommend them.

Third, the psychological impact of a successful stapedectomy is huge. It has done wonders for my mood and mental health. I feel pretty damn good these days, and I'm so glad this is behind me. I think I can delay surgery on my other ear for awhile, so for now I can just enjoy hearing again.

Thanks to all of you that have offered advice and support in this forum, and good luck to those of you suffering from otosclerosis, I hope you find my experience helpful!
[QUOTE=mspgh;4950756]So I am now at about 33 days post op...

I had my follow up visit last Friday and everything looks good. Apparently my fears of hearing loss were a bit premature as my air conduction hearing test on the operated ear shows that hearing has been restored to a normal range up to at least 8kHz. I do feel that extended high frequencies over 8kHz might have been affected a little bit by the surgery but I'm not going to worry about it too much since the overall improvement in my hearing is absolutely TREMENDOUS. Dr Berenholz said there was even a bit of overclosure at around 2kHz where my air conduction is now better than the bone conduction was in that ear pre-op.

Physically I feel pretty good, all the post op side effects are basically gone and all of my restrictions have been lifted. I don't need to limit physical exertion anymore so I started jogging a bit and I resumed some light exercise without any problems.

Obviously, the greatest benefit is a drastic improvement in my hearing. I can keep the volume on the TV turned way down now; I don't have trouble following conversations anymore; I can hear cars and dogs barking and all kinds of noises from outside with the windows closed (I do live in an old house with no insulation in the walls); music sounds better and more detailed-particularly the bass and lower mids, although I am still pretty sensitive to LOUD bass (I guess I have no acoustic reflex anymore so I have to be very careful about loud noise exposure for the rest of my life).

They only minor issue I am having is alot head congestion from a terrible cold I had last week, and the operated ear has been popping alot when I talk and swallow. I think this is probably just due to some fluid in my ears and sinuses and it seems to be working itself out. I was a little bit worried the cold was going to spread to my inner ear but it did not.

Just a couple things about the experience overall...

First, be patient! Its been posted on here a bunch of times, and I sort of got a little worried and impatient over nothing, so you have to remember to relax, take it easy, and be patient while you are recovering.

Second, I give very high marks to the Lippy Clinic and their experienced staff. I highly recommend them.

Third, the psychological impact of a successful stapedectomy is huge. It has done wonders for my mood and mental health. I feel pretty damn good these days, and I'm so glad this is behind me. I think I can delay surgery on my other ear for awhile, so for now I can just enjoy hearing again.

Thanks to all of you that have offered advice and support in this forum, and good luck to those of you suffering from otosclerosis, I hope you find my experience helpful![/QUOTE]

Mspgh

Great to hear, pretty soon you will almost forget how it was before surgery.
My adverse reaction to loud sounds are slowly receeding. Hope yours will also.
Congrats on "normal up to 8K"

"Dr "B" is a "Rock Star" :) and "The Lippy Clinic rocks too"
At 72 I can still express young feelings ;)

Ashton11
Hello... just checking in. I am going on 4 months post op and all is well. Hearing generally seems to be vastly improved. I haven't been tested since my 1 month post op check up but there is no reason to suspect that there has been any deterioration. I still think I lost some extended high frequency sensistivity above 8kHz, but I think my sensitivity is pretty normal up to there and I can hear 12kHz tones, although not as well as 8kHz, and my sensitivity to that frequency might be better in the un-operated ear. So there has been some loss in high end clarity, but the trade off is more than worth it.

My sensitivity to really loud sounds is tapering off, and generally my hearing just feels really "normal". Excessively loud sounds are a bit distorted sometimes, but its getting better. I have little to no difficulty understanding speech. I can hear the bass and mid-frequencies in music so much better now. I hear many sounds that I haven't heard in a long time, and I hear them clearly... trains in the distance, insects buzzing around my head, neighbors' dogs barking outside (while I am inside with the windows closed), voices from the playground across the street at my mother's house.

I have noticed the ear is particularly sensitive to pressure changes: it pops going up and down the smallest hills.

And I have also noticed how jacked up my hearing is in my un-operated ear. not only is the hearing sensitivity in the mids & lows very poor, I also noticed that many sounds, like the sound of my own voice in my head have a weird buzzing sound coming from inside my own head.

Right now I would say I couldn't be more please with the outcome of this procedure, hope it continues...





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