A stapedectomy refers to an ear surgical procedure used in treatment of hearing loss resulting from a condition known as otosclerosis. This condition leads to accumulation of bone around the stirrup bone and prevent the stapes from moving in the right way. The procedure is performed to replace the stapes using a synthetic part. After the process, it becomes possible for the sound to be transmitted from the eardrum up to the inner ear.
When stapedectomy is used
This procedure is applied when the major cause of the problem is reduced movement of the stapes. In case you suffer from hearing loss in both ears, the ear that is severely affected is treated first. It is worth noting that not every one with hearing loss problem requires to undergo through this procedure.
How to prepare yourself for this procedure
1. Have a plan on the care you need as you recover from the procedure.
2. Follow all the instructions given by your provider including to stop smoking six to eight weeks before undergoing the procedure.
3. Ask your doctor on the medicines or supplements you should avoid after the procedure.
4. Inform your physician on all the medicines or supplements you might be taking for more advice.
5. Tell the physician if you have any infection.
6. Your provider will advice you on when to stop drinking or eating before the procedure to prevent vomiting during stapedectomy.
7. Ask all the questions you might have and know all what your provider will do so that you can make informed decisions.
At the beginning, you will be given a general or local anesthetic to prevent your body from feeling pain and relax during the procedure. Your doctor will use strong microscope to view and operate inside your ear. He or she will then make a cut inside the ear canal close to the eardrum. Your eardrum will be moved up from the mid ear. The three bones inside your ear will be examined to determine that the stapes are the cause of the problem. Your doctor will then get rid of part or all the stapes. The doctor will then insert a synthetic stapes in your ear. The newly inserted stapes will help reconnect the two other ear bones to the inner part of your ear. The eardrum is them put back to its normal position and then your physician will place packing in your ear canal. The entire procedure takes one to two hours.
After the procedure
You will be advised on when you can begin your normal activities, what you should do and what to avoid. You might get positive results immediately as a result of the packing placed into your ear. After one week you should visit your doctor for them to be removed. It might take more than a month to get the desired results because of the bruising and swelling inside your ear.
Some of the risks involved include:
1. Bleeding or infection.
2. Damage of the eardrum
3. Your hearing might even get worse, but this is rare.
4. Slipping of the synthetic stapes.
Some common causes for Ear and Hearing Loss and their Treatment
Ear and hearing loss is a common problem faced by Singaporeans. More than 360,000 Singaporeans suffer from this problem and its prevalence is expected to increase at the rate of 15 percent every year. Most problems faced by hearing-impaired in Singapore are because of ignorance and lack of understanding of the problem.
Some common causes for ear problem include damage to the inner ear, build-up of earwax, ear infection, and ruptured eardrum. Let us discuss these conditions and their treatment:
Inner Ear Damage
Inner ear can get damaged due to prolonged exposure to loud music or aging. When nerve cells in the inner ear get damaged, the electric signals are not transmitted efficiently to the brain which leads to hearing loss. At times, the damage to the inner ear may be due to hereditary or genetic factors.
The treatment of this problem will depend on the nature and severity of the problem. In most cases, your ENT specialist Singapore may suggest surgery for hearing preservation. However, if it is a minor problem it can be treated with medication.
Build-up of Earwax
Earwax can prevent the conduction of sound waves by blocking the ear canal. Earwax blockage can affect people of all ages. Blockage usually occurs when earwax gets pushed deep into the ear canal. Some common symptoms of earwax blockage include decreased hearing, ear pain, dizziness, ringing in the ear, and itching.
You must see an ENT doctor Singapore if you have any symptom of earwax impaction. The ENT doctor will examine your ear using an otoscope. Your SGH ENT will then remove the earwax using curette and irrigate the ear using prescription ear drops.
Abnormal Bone Growth
Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear can prevent the ear from working properly and may cause hearing loss. This condition is known as otosclerosis and it is usually passed down from parent to the child. Some of the symptoms of otosclerosis include hearing loss, balance problem, dizziness, and ringing sensation in the ear.
In most cases, ENT specialist in Singapore may recommend a surgery. In this surgery known as stapedectomy, the surgeon will bypass the diseased bone which will allow the sound waves to reach the inner ear. However, if the hearing loss is mild, the ENT specialist may suggest the use of hearing aid.
Sudden change in pressure, loud noise, poking the eardrum with sharp object, and infection in the eardrum may cause rupture and affect hearing. Some symptoms of ruptured eardrum include sudden sharp pain in the ear, ear infection, buzzing in the ear, drainage from the ear that is bloody or resembles pus, and dizziness.
If you are suffering from a ruptured eardrum, visit ENT clinic Singapore immediately. Your ENT doctor will give you painkiller and antibiotics to control infection and reduce pain. It can take about three months for the eardrums to heal. At times, surgery may be needed to repair the ruptured eardrum.