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I have been diagnosed with bilateral otosclerosis. I have finally decided to go ahead and get a stapedectomy done on my left ear next Tuesday. I had a stapedectomy on my right ear in 2005 with good results however when I read some of these posts I get scared and feel really sorry about the side effects others have experienced.
In my first operation I was frightened about being awake (i had local anaesthetic) but was really surprised at how relaxed I was. I was given a tablet which I think almost put me to sleep. I recall being told they were removing the bone and to keep still. I heard some crunching sounds, no pain and then suddenly the dr was whispering numbers with clarity into my ears. It was amazing!! Packing was removed in 1 week with a vacuum and I had no side effects. I followed post op instructions with precision. My hearing was greatly improved although I could hear my husband snoring at night (really the only bad outcome).
Different surgeon this time due to move and fingers crossed for the same result!!
I found this site fantastic to assist in decision making and will do my bit to inform others how I go with operation #2. At the time of my first operation I did not have otosclerosis in the left ear. It has developed. I am finding it hard to hear in meetings and i have very poor clarity on the phone if using the left ear. I also have a high pitch ringing sound all the time which I really hope goes away with the surgery.
I am hoping I am doing the right thing getting the op in both ears and I do not lose all my hearing in the long term.
Fingers crossed!
Hi Clare and Cindy

I washed my hair on Saturday which was an interesting exercise. I put vaseline covered cotton wool ball in my ear, put over a sticky plastic bandage and then held a plastic cup on top. I sat on a plastic chair in the shower as my husband washed my hair for me. I was constantly saying "keep the water away from the cup". While he won't make a hairdresser he did a good job as there was no water in the ear and I felt great afterwards!!! I watched my son play soccer and even put some makeup on. My best day so far.

I will probably go for round 2 hair washing tomorrow night.

Day 6: Took it easy yesterday after my outing to soccer the day before. I watched a couple of movies (Bad Teacher (LOL) and Real Steel). I laid on my good ear and could hear all the words out of the operated ear - and that's with the packing still inside! I took some washing inside, folded some and cooked a slice. I am feeling pretty good but had an early night last night because I was a little light headed. Maybe did a little too much??

Day 7: I have inherited another child today - it is school holidays in Australia and I am helping my friend who needs to work. The boys are all playing XBox. I am planning to stay home but may try to drive tomorrow. Is this advisable at this stage??

With regards to the drinking - are you still taking antibiotics? If so - keep away from the alcohol - the medications and alcohol would not make a good combination.

What I can't understand is why there is such a big time variation in when the packing is removed by some doctors. Some of you are having your packing out weeks after the operation. I have had 2 different surgeons for both my operations and both take the packing out about 1 week post op. I am having mine taken out on Wednesday.

It is true each experience is different. Some hear earlier than others (with the packing in) and others don't hear much at all until the packing is taken out. In most cases however, the results are usually positive so if anyone is reading this, be patient. It is only a short term inconvenience for a long term gain!!

Hi Fantine

Sorry to hear that you have a dry mouth issue but given the test came back negative - you should think positively and you probably don't have the condition you are worried about. Given you had such great results from the 1st stapedectomy you really need to weigh up whether you want to delay getting improved hearing in your other ear because of a worry about something that may or not be related to the operation. I have had a stapedectomy in both ears now and have not experienced either the metallic taste nor dry mouth (that I am aware of).
I was very nervous before my 2nd stapedectomy operation - I was looking for excuses to cancel. I kept thinking would a better procedure come along in the new future, will something go wrong, how long will the prosthesis last etc. I nearly cancelled because I believed my hearing got better a few days before the operation. A hearing test proved this was not the case. I also tried to cancel because I am flying about 11 weeks post op. Once again I was reassured by the specialist flying this long after surgery is fine. I can fully relate to how you feel but a good result from the first operation is often a sign of the success of a second. Keep your chin up, do whatever research you need to and speak to medical practitioners to get some comfort whatever decision you make is the right one for you.


Fantine...I can honestly say that I did suffer from the dry mouth after my was horrible...I had to have my hubby go out and get dry mouth rinse....last years surgery was bad but not that bad. I also felt like my tongue was numb as if I had been to the dentist and was still numb from it...the only way I can describe it. It did go away after a week I believe..but it was bothersome...My tongue seemed to take abit before it returned back to normal..I found that sucking on candy helped abit. How is your hearing????

I am now almost 7 weeks post op...I am feeling balance has been pretty good. I can say that after this surgery I am at a better place then my last but I did have some complications that needed to settle in there. I am back to the gym and it feels great...I have been very careful not to push myself to much...I will not take any chances of hurting anything that has been given back to me.. What used to be my bad ear is now my excellent ear...100% hearing is what my dr. said... I am enjoying each and everyday of having both ears that right ear I thought was excellent was actually not good on one tone... I could never hear my stove beep when my hubby could until I was closer to it...didn t bother me to much...I could hear fine... My right ear had three stapedectomies in it and I am happy for what I have which I feel is alot...My dr. said that I have more then I should with my I am so grateful... To me ...he is a miracle worker...After having this last surgery in my left ear and regaining hearing now in both ears...This man walks on water to me... I am so appreciative of having my hearing. My brother went to his dr. because he also has a hearing loss but was told not the same as me and he has to wear two hearing when I think about it...I am so lucky to be able to have my hearing loss given back to me with surgery...

NICKLE>... How are you doing this week????

CLARE>>. How about you...did your packing come out yet...sorry last week is a blurr to me..My hubby was in the hospital for 10 days so you may have had it out...sorry if so...

Take care my friends

Hi Clare, Cindy and Fantine

Cindy - so glad your hearing is going well. Also - hopefully your husband is OK

Clare - great to hear that your hearing is getting better (excuse the pun - lol)! Have you had the antibiotic gauze taken out?

Fantine - I asked my surgeon today about that nerve issue. He explained the nerve can sometimes be damaged but he had notes on my file that indicated that he operated clear of the nerve - probably why I have not noticed the dry mouth etc. Maybe ask yours if he had any record of touching/ severing the nerve.

Day 8 - The first day I ventured out and drove the car. No problems and it was good to get out - even if it was to just swap an XBox disk that my son's friend destroyed! I also took my youngest son (10) to soccer training. My ear coped well with the high winds.

Day 9 - Today I had hairwash #2 and feel great. I felt even better when I visited the surgeon to have the packing removed. He took it out with I think tweezers. A little scratching and tugging but no real pain. He did not need to use a vacuum because the ear was dry but I was still afraid he was going to destroy his great work! He laughed. Apparently the vacuum is used when there is moisture in the ear. I asked lots of questions so here are the answers:

1. When can I get the ear wet? Today - I couldn't believe this one!!!
2. Do I need to plug the ear with cotton balls or put drops in? No
3. Do i need to take any more antibiotics? No
4. When can I fly? After 4-6 weeks. I was very interested in this response as I am flying 11 weeks post surgery. I told him about Sanguine's experience posted on Healthnet. He said there is a very slight chance that a fistula can occur due to sudden change in pressure from an aircraft and the consequent shifting of the prosthesis. He drew a drawing. He said in these cases it can reduce hearing. I asked if the risk was 1% and he said even less. Poor Sanguine seems to have been very unlucky. He said very fit airforce pilots fly in those fast jets 6 weeks after a stapedectomy. He then added that they are selected for their physically fit profile - which he added I did not possess (lol)
5. Should I take antihistamines before/during flying? No. I even suggested I would just in case and he said he wouldn't bother and could not recommend one for me to use.
6. When can I go on theme park rides? He didn't seem to really answer this properly but suggested all would be ok but to try and keep away from the big ones in the short term.

I am having a hearing test in 8 weeks and I am seeing him shortly after. Hearing is so far very good. I am not sure on the actual results - he did no tests - but I am definitely better than pre-op. I can now hear the TV laying on my 1st operated ear. I can also hear clearly on the phone with the newly operated ear. I could do both of these before the packing was taken out so no massive change after the removal of the packing. I do know however that there was a large difference when I had the packing removed from my 1st operated ear. This ear was vacuumed out by a different surgeon. Obviously there was more moist stuff in my ear that time!

I hope my questions were helpful. Fingers crossed for the rest of you. Fantine - good luck with your decision.

Nickle :)
I did the online tests, the ones which test your hearing in noisy background, my result was within normal limit. But the audiogram one I did, I was disappointed because my operated hear is not mormal and is only about 10dB better than my non- operated ear which also has otosclerosis. Does the hearing improve with tine? I am now 3.5 weeks post op. I hope it will continue to improve. Mum said my ear canal seems to be partially blocked from? Old clot. But I don't dare to clean it. I m seeing my surgeon in 2.5 weeks.
[QUOTE=Appleboyboy;4975935]I did the online tests, the ones which test your hearing in noisy background, my result was within normal limit. But the audiogram one I did, I was disappointed because my operated hear is not mormal and is only about 10dB better than my non- operated ear which also has otosclerosis. Does the hearing improve with tine? I am now 3.5 weeks post op. I hope it will continue to improve. Mum said my ear canal seems to be partially blocked from? Old clot. But I don't dare to clean it. I m seeing my surgeon in 2.5 weeks.[/QUOTE]

I was told that your hearing won't stabilize until at least 8 weeks after surgery, so I wouldn't worry about the results you're getting less than 4 weeks ago. IIRC, my ear was still draining fluids at that time. Also, on line tests have a very wide variation. My surgeon had me go to a professional audiologist after the surgery at 8 weeks, and then at 6 months. I think that you would see much more improvement with a professional doing the test.
Hi, I have read a lot of the stapedectomy post op experiences and I'm still unsure if my experience is normal. I am 8 days post op and I cannot hear anything from the ear they operated on. All I hear is a high pitched continuous noise (which I heard before the surgery). The surgery was done with a laser through my ear and the surgeon said everything went well after, but after getting instructions from the nurse I realized he made an incision behind my ear. I was was told it was done to stabilize the ear drum.

It seems like everyone hears at least something by day 8 and I'm concerned that this is not normal. I was very dizzy the first couple days post op, I'm still a little dizzy here and there but nothing like before. The pain is not bad and I have a little blood in the cotton ball everytime I change it. For a couple days my voice was so loud inside my head, but that went away. I know they put packing in my ear, but unlike a lot of the people that post about this, I can't feel it and I can't see anything at all when I look into my ear. Also, I cannot taste anything on the left side of my mouth.

Does anyone have any insight on my experience and if hearing nothing at all after 8 days is normal?

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