Stapedectomy vs. Stapedotomy: What’s the Difference?

Stapedectomy or Stapedotomy

When the stapes bone becomes “stuck” or “frozen,” a stapes operation is performed to improve hearing in a patient. One of the three bones in the middle ear, the stapes is the smallest bone in the human body. The stapes bone is required to hear, carrying the vibration of sound into the cochlea. But, if there is any malfunction to this hearing bone, conductive hearing loss occurs. Typically a “stuck” or “frozen” stapes bone occurs in patients who have otosclerosis, a condition that causes a buildup of bone around the stapes, preventing it from moving as it normally should. However, a “frozen” stapes bone can also occur from a severe middle ear infection, a traumatic incident, or it could be the result of a hereditary condition.

For years, the decisions regarding the surgical choice in stapes surgery have been conferred. What’s the better choice, a stapedectomy or stapedotomy? A stapedotomy is what Dr. Sperling primarily performs, which refers to a refined version of the early stapedectomy operation. Currently, the treatment of choice for otosclerosis is a stapedotomy. Many believe that the stapedotomy procedure is safer, simpler, and less traumatic than a stapedectomy.

Stapedectomy or Stapedotomy? What’s the Difference?

Compared to a stapedectomy, a stapedotomy includes the use of a laser to make a precise hole (fenestration) in the stapes footplate. While a stapedectomy typically removes the entire stapes footplate and has it replaced with a micro prosthesis. During a stapedotomy, a prosthesis is positioned within the precisely-made and measured hole that is created in the footplate of the stapes bone. The immobile stapes bone is replaced by the tiny, piston-like prosthesis, allowing the new prosthesis bone to move freely with the other middle ear bones, efficiently transferring acoustic energy to the inner ear.

What are the Benefits of a Stapedotomy?

• More precise procedure
• Decreased side effects
• Improved high-frequency hearing
• Safer and simpler than a stapedectomy
• Intraoperative complications are minimized
• Postoperative complications are minimized

If you are looking to learn more about this procedure, click here for more information. If you would like to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for surgery, contact us today!

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