Surgical Procedures

Ear Tubes Procedure Description

Place small tube in eardrum to allow air into middle ear.

What To Expect
Children are put to sleep for a short time while placing ear tubes. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes and there is minor discomfort for a few hours afterward that is relieved with Tylenol and/or antibiotic eardrops.

No pre-op preparation required. Ear tubes can and are placed even when the ear is actively infected.

Antibiotic ear drops are used for 3 days after ear tubes are placed. There may be some blood-tinged drainage for a few days after ear tubes are placed. If drainage continues, come in to see the doctor. Generally, water should be kept out of any ear that has an ear tube in it. Ear plugs are usually worn during bathing/showering or swimming. Diving is prohibited when ear tubes are in place or when eustachian tube disfunction is present.


Stapedectomy Procedure Description

The stapes (stirrup) ear bone is replaced allowing the ear bones to vibrate properly and thus improve hearing.

What To Expect
A stapedectomy takes about 30 to 40 minutes and is often done under local anesthesia with sedation. There is some discomfort during injection of xylocaine into the ear so intravenous sedation is given. During the procedure patients are usually drowsy but aware and will notice when hearing improves. The procedure is usually done through the ear canal so there is no cut outside the ear.

Stapedectomy is an elective procedure so any illness, including the common cold, will require postponing surgery. Ear infection or a hole in the eardrum requires postponing surgery.

There is often bloody drainage from the ear for few days after stapes surgery. Water should be kept out of the ear until the ear is healed (the doctor will tell you when). To take a shower, use a cotton ball covered with ointment or vaseline on the outer surface; ear plugs should not be used after this kind of ear surgery until the ear is healed. The most common side-effect of stapedectomy is dizziness or mild vertigo, which usually lasts 4 to 5 days. If dizzines persists longer or is violent, patients should see the doctor soon. Taste disturbance also occurs but this usually resolves within a few weeks. Strenuous activity should be avoided for a month. Consult your doctor regarding airplane flying.

c512Cochlear Implant Procedure Description

An electronic device is implanted in the skull behind the ear with a small, thin wire going into the inner ear.

What To Expect
The operation is done under general anesthesia and usually takes about 2 hours. Because of a large muscle flap that is created in this operation there is moderate pain, soreness, and swelling after surgery requiring pain medication for several days. The outer portion of the implant is not attached until three weeks after the surgery.

Proper neurotologic and audiologic evaluation is essential prior to cochlear implantation. Only patients who do NOT get much benefit from a powerful hearing aid are generally candidates for a cochlear implant. This is an elective procedure so any illness requires postponing surgery. The ear should not be infected. Chronic infection must be treated or the ear must be closed up at the time of implantation. Implants can be inserted with ear tubes in place.

The head wrap dressing stays on for one to two days after surgery. Ice packs to the ear area and keeping the head elevated helps swelling resolve faster. Staples/sutures are removed at one week. The first post-op visit occurs at one week and the second visit at three weeks for implant hook-up. Programming of the implant is done at the time of initial hook-up and during the following weeks. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks after this surgery. Unless ear tubes have been placed, it is okay to wet the incision and the ear canal 48 hours after surgery.

BAHA Information

The BAHA ® system is an implanted treatment for hearing loss that works through direct bone conduction.

  • It consists of three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a sound processor.
  • Uses bone as a pathway for sound to travel to the functioning inner ear.
  • The BAHA system requires a short, minimally invasive surgical procedure lasting 30-60 minutes, performed under general or local anesthesia, typically on an outpatient basis.

The BAHA system has been innovatively treating patients since 1977 and is a leading solution for patients who have a mixed or conductive hearing loss affecting the outer and/or middle ear, as well as unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, also known as Single-Sided Deafness (SSD).

In 1996, the BAHA system was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States to treat mixed and conductive hearing loss.

In 1999, the BAHA system was cleared by the FDA for pediatric use in children age five and older.

In 2001, the BAHA system was cleared by the FDA for bilateral fittings.

In 2002, the BAHA system was cleared by the FDA for use in patients with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, commonly known as Single-Sided Deafness (SSD).

In 2002, Entific Medical Systems introduced the BAHA® Softband, designed to be used until a child is ready to receive the complete BAHA system.

  • Uses adjustable elastic band to connect to the sound processor and hold it comfortably against the skin.
  • Offers benefits of BAHA treatment until the child is old enough to receive the BAHA system implantation.

In 2002, Entific Medical Systems introduced a directional microphone with a Phonak FM-receiver.

  • Directional microphone, improving intelligibility in noisy environments, is currently standard with all BAHA® Compacts.
  • FM-receiver, for use with the BAHA Compact, works with FM system base stations common in many classrooms, schools, and other large group settings.

BAHA was originally owned and developed by Entific Medical Systems and it is now owned by Cochlear Corporation.