My laser stamp surgery experience

Six years ago I was diagnosed with otosclerosis in the right ear. I don’t know what my audiogram looked like (can’t find it), but I heard a very loud tone all the time and everyone sounded like they were speaking to me through a metal pipe. Enough to drive a person insane.

Researched surgery options and preferred the Laser Stamp procedure over the normal Stapedectomy. Much less invasive, in my opinion. In the Laser Stamp procedure (Laser Stapedotomy minus prosthesis) they go in through the ear drum, use a laser to remove the side of the stapes that is frozen, then close up. That’s it. But just like the stapedectomy there is a 40% chance that the nerve of taste will have to be cut.

Had the procedure done. They cut the nerve of taste. After one week they removed the packing. Two days after that I got my hearing back. At my one month audiogram, I could hear perfectly and heard no ringing whatsoever. It’s like I never had anything wrong. :slight_smile: But it took one year for me to get back all of my sense of taste. :frowning: But it is back. So as far as I’m concerned Laser Stamp for otosclerosis is the best! Not many doctors do this procedure though. I had to go to Florida.

But now I have otosclerosis in my left ear. Apparently the nerve of taste in my right ear never grew back, and I just got used to having only a nerve of taste on the left side. So no surgery for me this time. Don’t want to lose my sense of taste permanently. So this time, hearing aid for me. I’m getting one now and as my condition worsens, I’ll get the hearing aid adjusted. Hopefully that will keep the tinnitus at bay.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.:smiley:

Congratulations on the EXCELLENT results from this procedure. I’m surprised to find I have never heard of the procedure. It sounds like the candidates are selectively culled and the procedure is new. Otosclorosis is generally progressive, so I cannot help but think there is risk of refixation. What is the name of the surgeon who did the procedure? Did he put you on flouride (and/or biphosphonates)?

The procedure was done at the Silverstein Institute. They have been doing it for 15 years now. The surgeon (Dr. Silverstein) said he recently wrote (or was going to write) a paper on the success of the procedure. Only three patients had to be redone over the 15 year period. But my memory isn’t great, so I could have the details mixed up. He definitely said it’s been 15 years.

They go in not knowing if they will do this procedure or the normal one. If the condition isn’t too far gone they can do the Laser Stamp procedure. So unlike the normal procedure it doesn’t pay to wait after you’ve found out you have otosclerosis. If they need to, they do the normal procedure. When you wake up he tells you which he did. So there’s no risk of going in to have this one done as they do whichever you need. No flourides for me.

I asked my local ENT why it isn’t done everywhere. I know I’m going to mess this up, but he said something like this. Most ENT’s are part of a large fellowship. They get their training from that fellowship. Since this procedure isn’t accredited with the large fellowship, nobody learns it. He said the Silverstein Institute has their own fellowship. So he can go there for training, but he doesn’t get credit for the knowledge. There are other places to get the procedure done, just none near me so I went to the source.

Perhaps an ENT can explain how that stuff works better than me.

What on earth makes you think it wasn’t a nice experience? It was a piece of cake! And I now have almost perfect hearing in that ear. I don’t know why people are so worried about these procedures. As long as you go to a surgeon that does them regularly it’s an easy surgery for them to do. Alot of the problems with the prosthesis with the normal procedure revolve around it falling off. But now they use one that shrinks on to the incus with a few seconds of heat. Not so prone to falling off.

<quote>40% chance that the nerve of taste will have to be cut</quote>

I think you mean that there is a 40% chance of the nerve having to be moved to gain access. I doubt a surgeon would ever deliberately cut the nerve as I don’t believe a severed nerve would ever heal properly.

I have had a laser stapendectomy (not stamp) on both ears. When my right ear was done they had to pull the nerve for the right side of the tongue out of the way. (The surgeon showed me pictures of them doing this.) When I woke up I had lost my sense of taste on that side of the tongue - nerves really don’t like any pressure. However, my sense of taste returned to normal over the next few months.

They move the nerve. But sometimes it has to be cut. Mine was cut.

I wonder how effective this in helping with sensoral hearing loss