I had ear surgery in December of 2009. It was for a Stapedotomy. They replaced my stapes bone with a teflon and titanium piston. They use a laser to remove most of the stapes bone. They drill a small hole into the oval foot plate and anchor the implant in the hole and crimp the end of it onto the next bone in the ossicular chain.
Like your doctor told you my ear was packed with gauze when I awoke from surgery. I went back to Dr 3 times over the next week. First time did not remove any packing. Just checked pain levels and made sure there was not any abnormal seepage or bleeding from the ear. 2nd time replaced the outer bandage and first layer of gauze. Not in the canal, just the outer ear. Third time removed the rest of the gauze packing. And put just a cotton ball with some antibiotic cream back in its place.
That’s when I found that there was another layer of dissolving packing in the ear. He said it would slowly dissolve and come out. And until it did I would still have that feeling of my ear full of cotton. Over the next few weeks visits the doc slowly used a small vacuum to remove the blood, dissolving packing, ear wax, etc, until the ear canal was clear and healed.
Ok, so that is the packing side of the story. The rest of it may scare the hell out of you. Not telling you to scare you, just to tell you what “could” happen. I will tell you that my situation is not the “normal” results. But I was not the only one who had these same or similar results. There is another forum that I have been a member of that is more dedicated to those kinds of surgeries. I have read lots of posting there based upon ear surgeries. Anyway, here is “My” story.
The first night of surgery was the most miserable day I have ever had. I was sick to my stomach for over 18 hours. I did not eat anything so I have no clue where this stuff kept coming from. Thankfully since I had not eaten it was just liquids.
Your inner ear is part of your balance and equilibrium system. Over the next 5 or 6 days I could not move without feeling extremely dizzy. And many times that dizziness made me sick to my stomach again. Even sitting with my body still and just moving my head would trigger it. Riding in the car to go to the doctor was real fun! But, it eventually stopped and I have not had any problems with it since.
Pain was actually not that bad. They gave me a prescription for pain pills, but did not really need them. And the pills for nausea did not really help much obviously.
My sense of taste was effected too. Things tasted weird for about 2 or 3 weeks before returning to normal. I knew ahead of time to expect that. There is a nerve that runs through the area that is part of your taste buds. The swelling puts pressure on the nerve and makes the signals to the brain go crazy. Once the swelling went down my taste went back to normal.
The only remaining issue I have from the surgery is a slight tingling and numbness. My ear canal and part of my face directly in front of my ear are still slightly numb and tingle. It comes and goes, do not feel it all the time, or I have just learned to ignore it. Just like I am able to ignore my tinnitus! And it is not so severe that it really bothers me. And I can still feel touch to the area. Just sometimes feels tingly and numb.
The reason for this is that they had to chisel my ear canal larger to be able to get into my inner ear to perform the surgery. The doctor did not tell me about this before hand. Said he did not know until he cut my ear open and saw the size of the opening into my inner ear. Anyway, removing the bone and tissue destroyed nerve endings, resulting in this tingle and numb feeling. Most likely will have it the rest of my life.
Now, after going through all of that I am sad to say that the surgery was not a success. My hearing did not improve. Thankfully it did not get worse, but it did not improve. Discussing it with the doctor said many things could have caused it. Implant slipped out of place due to the severe and constant vomiting was the most likely culprit. After 10 months they eventually did a CT scan. Results of the CT scan showed that the implant had not slipped.
I waited for almost a year hoping to wake up one morning and find that my hearing had gotten better. They kept giving me hearing tests to see if there was a change. There never was. The doctor said that he could perform the surgery again with a different style or size of implant. After the side effects of the first surgery there was no way I was going through that again. So, hear I am looking at hearing aids!!
Now, like I said earlier. I am not telling this story to scare you. Just giving you a warning that things can go wrong!! Thankfully it did not make my hearing worse than it was. And I can still get hearing aids.
If I were in a position where there was no hearing, I think I would still take the risk and go ahead with the surgery. As without the ossicular chain intact a hearing aid would not help. Only other option are Cochlear Implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Aids. Since that all involve surgery I think I would start with this surgery first.
But, in your case you seem to have some hearing. So not sure how I would handle it. If you still have numbness on your scalp you may still have swelling that is causing the hearing loss. You have said that you want to wait until spring. That may be a good thing as it may give time for any remaining swelling to go away.