Type of Surgery


Doctor Certified

Last updated: 11/24/2009


The most serious risk is an increased hearing loss, which occurs in about 1% of patients. Because of this risk, a stapedectomy is usually performed on only one ear at a time.

Less common complications include:

  • temporary change in taste...

    (due to nerve damage) or lack of taste
  • perforated eardrum
  • vertigo that may persist and require surgery
  • damage to the chain of three small bones attached to the eardrum
  • partial facial nerve paralysis
  • ringing in the ears

Severe dizziness or vertigo may be a signal that there has been an incomplete seal between the fluids of the middle and inner ear. If this is the case, the patient needs immediate bed rest, an examination by the ear surgeon, and (rarely) an operation to reopen the eardrum to check the prosthesis.



The human ear requires a number of highly specialized anatomical structures in order to transform sound wave energy into actually sounds recognized by the brain. This animation shows the various structures of the outer, middle and inner ear and how they work together to detect sound.

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Other Information

A stapedectomy is a surgical procedure of the middle ear performed to improve hearing. The world's first stapedectomy is credited to Dr. John J. Shea, Jr., performed in May, 1956, the first patient being a 54 year-old housewife who could no longer hear even with a hearing aid. In recent years, Dr. William H. Lippy, from Warren, Ohio, has been credited with a multitude of advances in the surgery including his speciality which is revision surgery.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapedectomy

Other Information

In 2006, estimates of the direct medical costs of allergic rhinitis in the US ranged from $1.16 billion to $4.5 billion, rising to $7.7 billion when indirect costs were included.

From: AHRQ

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