Stapedectomy is an elective microsurgical procedure that replaces the stapes bone with a prosthesis (artificial bone) to counteract calcium deposits in the ear associated with otosclerosis.

Surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia and can be done through the ear canal. The ear drum is raised and the middle ear opened, revealing the calcium deposit, which is then broken up with a laser. The remains of the vaporized stapes bone are removed and the bone is replaced. A tiny sample of tissue from behind the ear lobe is grafted to promote healing, and the incisions are closed.

Complications are rare and depend on the patient’s anatomy. These may include temporary loss of taste on one side of the tongue, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and, rarely, facial nerve paralysis or partial or total hearing loss requiring the use of additional surgery or a hearing aid.

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