Surgery to Treat Hearing Loss
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
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.
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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