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Stapedectomy Overview

Stapedectomy is a surgical procedure in which the innermost bone of the three bones of the middle ear is removed and replaced with a small plastic tube surrounding a short length of stainless steel wire. The purpose is to improve the movement of sound to the inner ear. It is done to treat progressive hearing loss caused by otoscelorosis, a condition in which spongy bone hardens around the base of the stapes (the innermost bone). This condition fixes the stapes to the opening of the inner ear, so that the stapes no longer vibrates properly. As a result, the transmission of sound to the inner ear is disrupted. Untreated otosclerosis eventually results in total deafness, usually in both ears.

Patient Instructions

Please read and familiarize yourself with these instructions both BEFORE and AFTER surgery. By following them carefully, you will assist in obtaining the best possible result from your surgery. If questions do arise, please contact our physicians or nurses.


  • If you experience signs or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or other illness within five days prior to surgery, please call our office at .
  • Do not take any aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs, ibuprofen or ibuprofen-containing drugs for one week prior to surgery. Examples of these include Aspergum, Darvon, Fiorinal, Norgesic, Advil, Motrin and many over-the-counter cough and cold preparations. Additionally, you should not take any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn which have a similar effect. If you are on this type of medication, please discuss this matter directly with us before stopping it.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight prior to surgery.
  • Your physician will provide you with prescriptions for medications to take at home following surgery. Please prepare by filling your prescriptions prior to your surgery. Take only the medications prescribed by your physician(s).


  • Any pain medications prescribed by our physicians are safe to use in the post-operative period. For children, liquid acetaminophen (brand names Tempra and Tylenol) may be used with a dosage determined by the age of the child. Adults may use tablets or capsules of acetaminophen with the same brand names.
  • Some slight bloody drainage from the operated ear is not uncommon. However, should it last more than a week, or develop an infected character or increase in quantity, please contact us.
  • DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE for at least two weeks. Any accumulation in the nose may be drawn back and expectorated through the mouth.
  • If it is necessary to sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
  • Do not hold your nose and blow air through the Eustachian tube into the ear. A full sensation with popping sounds may be noticed during the healing period.
  • Use chewing gum to stimulate swallowing on altitude changes while
  • Avoid caffeinated products.
  • Soap and water should be kept out of the ear for approximately three weeks after surgery. To accomplish this, cotton may be placed at the opening of the ear canal and covered with Vaseline when taking a shower or washing the hair.
  • Usual activities may be resumed the second or third day after surgery. However, strenuous activities (such as lifting heavy objects or straining) should be avoided for ten days after surgery.
  • Do not be concerned with your hearing in the immediate post-operative period. Generally the ear is packed with antibiotic ointment and a combination of blood and surgical packing that dissolves. Once this is removed in four to six weeks, your hearing will be evaluated.
  • If sudden, severe dizziness should occur, please call the office. Likewise, if a sudden sensation of complete loss of hearing occurs in the operated ear, please call us.

If you have any questions regarding your comfort or care, please contact our office at .