Surgery to Treat Hearing Loss

Some people may need surgery for hearing loss. Options are:

Stapedectomy —This uses small tools and a microscope to treat otosclerosis. The stapes bone is taken out and replaced with a man-made one. Hearing may be better right away. Some bleeding behind the eardrum may limit hearing in some people. Hearing should be much better 10 days to 2 weeks after surgery.

Tympanoplasty —Small tools and a microscope are used to make a graft of ear tissue to close a hole in the eardrum. It takes several weeks to find out whether surgery helped hearing loss. Full healing takes about 4 weeks.

Myringotomy and tubes (also called tympanostomy and tubes)—A small cut is made in the eardrum so that fluid (blood, pus, and/or water) can be drained from the middle ear. A tube is often placed to allow it to keep draining. It is most often done in children. Full healing should come back in about 4 weeks. The tubes will fall out on their own in 6 to 12 months. Some people may need to have them taken out if this does not happen.

Surgery may also be used to remove tumors in the ear that cause hearing loss.

References:

Hearing loss. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Hearing-Loss.aspx. Updated August 1, 2009. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Hearing loss and older adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults. Updated July 17, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Stachler RJ, Chandrasekhar SS, et al; American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;146(3 Suppl):S1-35.
Stapedectomy. Ear Surgery Information Center website. Available at: https://www.earsurgery.org/surgery/stapedectomy. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-sensorineural-hearing-loss . Updated November 26, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Tympanoplasty surgery. Ear Surgery Information Center website. Available at: https://www.earsurgery.org/surgery/tympanoplasty-surgery. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 06/03/2020

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