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Not certain stapedectomy is right for my life style


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Here are my concerns about having the stapedectomy a surgeon recommended.

I'm a 67 y/o man, not married, who lives alone. I have mixed losses and a 30-year tinnutus. My days after waking consist of a lot of time reading or playing the piano (w/headphones - apt dweller).  At home I don't wear hearing aides and have become accustomed to the low muted sounds of dishes, toilets, dishwashers, refrigerators, computer hum, creaking doors, etc. If I wore my hearing aides these sounds bother me. 

My car is ten years old.  With my HA's in I head every rumble and bump to the extreme so I ride in hearing-comfort by not wearing them. 

Premium HA's work well most of the time and wearing my hair over my ears cover them pretty well. I can take them out when I want quiet.  

Do you where I'm getting at? I fear that having a stapedectomy will place me into a world of sound that maybe I don't want to hear. Or that my tinnitus will worsen as well also. It's loudness now is, at times, unbearable. This is a procedure with no reversal.

But the flip side is a concern is that if I don't have a stapedectomy will my loss of hearing will worsen? 

I'd like to hear from those who had similar concerns. Did you miss the quiet times?

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I am quite new on this forum. a 10 years ago I have had a stapedomy performed that has failed. Because the side is also deteriorating, we will go to the next step: CI in April.

Our situation is quite different cause I have a wife and child, but I just wanted to mention why I think my hearing is so important:
- You talk about car and traffic there. In a traffic environment, I think safety is extremely important. You can not safely drive the car in my eyes without being able to hear well.
- And of course I want to HEAR my daughter grow up.

I hope that I have been able to help you a bit with my situation. If you have any questions: just ask!

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hi @teelions

It is great that you are thinking about whether or not you wish to hear better before agreeing to stapendectomy surgery.  Only you will know if you wish to hear better or if the timing is right.  Hearing successfully with a stapendectomy sounds a lot better than hearing with a hearing aid.


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Thanks for your responses.

I can hear, and out of both ears.

I can hear the sirens of ambulances and the honks of horns.  I don't live in a city or a heavy traffic area. I have no qualms what so ever about about my ability to drive safely. If I did, I certainly would not. 

My doctor said that I would still have to wear hearing aides after the operation. So there's no choice there.

This all came about when I went to Costco for hearing aides. And I'm very glad I chose Costco because their Dispensers and Audiologists are on salary and receive no commission from HA sales.  It was there that they advised that I get a doctors sign off to proceed. Any other hearing center, like Total Hearing, HearX, HearUSA, wouldn't do that in fear of losing a customer. I've been to the three just mentioned and they never suggested a doctor's intervention.

I first went to the ENT Costco suggested. This office was about 35 miles from my home. It was this Generalist ENT that suggested the surgical Otologist right there in their office.  But on the day of that visit in snowed pretty deep in my area and I canceled the appt. And they gave me another appt 6 weeks away but I didn't want to wait that long do I instead made an appt with an Otologist in my town, just 2 miles away. He ordered an MRI. His diagnosis was "no otosclerosis" and "no Stapedectomy needed". HA's were the answer.

But then I followed up with the first guy (snow-day doctor) and he ordered a CT of the IAC's. That came back clear.  But he said he thought it was a good idea to do the stapedectomy anyway.  He was ready to schedule me but I said I wanted to research it out a bit first. I have since found out online about how long the recovery time is (he never told me), what might be some of my problems post op  (he never told me), and how my tinnitus could be improved or even worsened  (he never told me).

At this point I'm not feeling so right about this surgeon. I'm going to go back to the in-town doctor to discuss it further. The snow-day doctor seems a bit reckless to me.

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Stapendectomy surgeries help some people.  Mine failed.  Was repeated and failed.  In the end I lost all hearing in that ear due to complications from Ménière’s disease.  I had different surgeons at different practices.

Other people are much more fortunate.

Good luck to you.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had bilateral stapedectomies. If you don't want to hear, you can always put in an ear plug. Also, with the Stapedectomy, you may still need a hearing aid. There is one very real risk to a stapedectomy. About 1% of Stapedectomies result in TOTAL deafness in that ear along with a loss of balance for almost a year. I know, because I am that statistic. I had been deaf in my right ear for the last 18 years because of the failed stapedectomy. My surgeon was new, which seems to be a common factor in failed stapedectomies. Even with the failure, I would try again if I could. But my advice, make sure your surgeon has done lots of stapedectomies. Experience counts!

Good luck to you!

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