Hi all.
I’m posting about how to respond to my surgeon at my final stapedectomy post-op. I’m very unhappy with the outcome, though he professes it was a huge success. I had very mild hearing loss prior, and now it’s moderate to significant.

I had a TIA in 2008 that resulted in a stepedius tremor, which took YEARS to get anyone to pay attention to. FF to last year, when I finally found an ENT who understood what it was, and surgery was the rec. I had surgery in January of this year. My final post-op is in a couple of weeks.

According to the surgeon, everything went fine, and to his credit I’ve had 0 tremors since. He went through the ear drum to find that the stapes was/were matted together, and he cut the tendon in two places. There’s no notation of things being matted in the surgery report I received.

I had the usual vertigo, nausea, and very muffled hearing. These were all mentioned in my pre-op session. However loss of taste and continued loss of hearing were not. I read online prior to surgery that these were potentials, though I was told my hearing would come back to where it was prior to surgery or better within a couple of months. It hasn’t returned, and this is very distressing to me. How do I approach this with my surgeon? Is there any point to bringing it up? I don’t feel that I was properly informed about the bad potentials of this surgery, and now have a hearing aid in that ear.

Thank you for your thoughts.

I would share your concerns with your surgeon. If you don’t get satisfactory answers, you might consider getting a second opinion.


I had a stapedotomy that subsequently went wrong 18 months ago and went back to the surgeon who was very apologetic and did a revision six months ago.

I would definitely talk to the surgeon about it. He will realise without you saying anything when he looks at your before and after audiograms anyway.


Sorry, have you been told that this is permanent and been prescribed a hearing aid? When did that happen? Seems a bit odd that someone would prescribe a hearing aid prior to the post-op, unless the ENT has already confirmed permanent loss.

Your hearing test would help.

When in January was the surgery? How old are you? Have you been ill in the interim? Do you have a history of eustation tube dysfunction? It is absolutely possible that you could still have a temporary conductive loss due do ongoing middle ear dysfunction. Fluid behind the ear drum can take a long time to clear. It’s still possible that that taste dysfunction could clear up too. Unless someone has confirmed this is all permanent?

Also, congratulations on getting rid of the middle ear myoclonus (?). Many people just learn to live with that. You must have found it particularly distressing to seek surgery. Was it constant? It’s something that can get linked in with/aggravated by stress, like tinnitus, and is sometimes responsive to CBT. I imagine the TIA was probably a stressful event.

Thanks for your reply. I had my first post-op, and was told the hearing and taste would come back. I saw the audiologist who prescribed a hearing aid to mitigate tinnitus.

I saw the audiologist again to followup on the hearing aid, which is when she did the first hearing test post-op and said my hearing in that ear had changed post-surgery, and that the state of my ear drum was likely permanent. The surgeon has not commented on that yet. The second post-op is this week, at which point I will see the surgeon.

Surgery was 12 Jan. I’m 51. That ear feels like there’s fluid in it most of the time to me, for a decade or more, but every ENT I’ve seen insists there’s not.

The myoclonus was random. It could last 30 seconds or two months. It was maddening, and went like that for 15 years. Every doctor I saw just said it was tinnitus. It got considerably worse a few years ago, which is when I began seeking diagnosis.

I would still say try not to worry until the surgeon says it’s permanent.

Did the audiologist clarify what she meant by the “state” of your eardrum? I thought that typically with these sorts of surgeries they cut around and moved the eardrum out of the way so it wasn’t impacted.

Good luck with the follow up this week.

The only way you are going to get the answers to your issues is to bring your concerns up to your surgeon. Ask him why this, that and the other has happened.
Good luck.

Thank you to everyone who replied. I appreciated your thoughts going into my final post-op.

This whole procedure was a bit sideways, and continues to be. It stopped the tremor–yes,and that’s all my surgeon is concerned about. All of the paperwork I received prior and post-op read “stapedectomy,” though what he actually did in his own words was a mere lysis of the tendon. There was no discussion of how this would impact my hearing longterm, regarding the absence of this tendon, AND regarding surgical recovery and my hearing. I brought this up to the surgeon, who pointed to the chart and said “the numbers aren’t that different pre- and post-op.” Like that’s all. He said my hearing loss at this point is just my choice to amplify or not to amplify.

The audiologist, however, was more helpful and explanatory, and she said his post-surgery patients often express that he doesn’t do a good job of explaning what he’s doing or what the lived experience of it after can encompass. She basically said my hearing without that tendon will be what it is–unable to modulate loudness and kind of diffuse, which is exactly my present experience, 3 months post-op. She said I need to give it a year given my other disabilities to really know what it will be like.

So. Thank you again for your thoughts.

1 Like