In general, stapes surgery is offered as an option for adults with otosclerosis who have been fully informed about the alternatives including hearing aids and observation, and also understand the risks of the surgery. This type of surgery is commonly referred to as a stapedectomy or stapedotomy.
Surgery is performed using intravenous sedation (that allows for communication between the patient and surgeon in the operating room to check the hearing before and after placement of the stapes prosthesis) or general anesthesia. Virtually all patients go home the day of surgery.
The risks of surgery including decreased hearing or deafness, need for additional surgery, migration or extrusion of the prosthesis, infection, dizziness, change in taste, and eardrum perforation. In general, the vast majority (>90-95%) of patients with otosclerosis can enjoy improved hearing after one surgery with minimal risk.
Stapes surgery in children requires special consideration and planning. Surgery is generally avoided while the child is still prone to developing middle ear infections. Additional evaluation with a CT scan is frequently obtained to evaluate for inner ear structural abnormalities. In the absence of inner ear abnormalities, children who undergo stapes surgery can expect the surgery to performed safely and with excellent results.