Stapedotomy is a procedure to treat loss of hearing caused by otosclerosis, a condition that affects the normal functioning of the stapes bone (one of the middle ear bones forming the ossicular chain that conducts sound). Bony overgrowth causes the stapes to become fixed on the oval window thereby reducing sound transmission to the inner ear. Stapedotomy surgery involves replacing the damaged stapes with a prosthesis (artificial stapes) so that sound is effectively transmitted from the eardrum to the inner ear. This resolves the problem of impaired hearing.
Stapes surgery is performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation. The procedure is performed using an operating microscope. Steps of the procedure include:
An incision in the ear canal and elevation of the eardrum. The stapes bone superstructure (upper part of the stapes) is removed. The footplate of the stapes is opened using a trephine, microdrill or laser.
An artificial piston (metal / plastic prosthesis) is placed in the gap to reconnect the middle ear bones and the inner ear.
The eardrum is placed back into its original position and is supported with packing material in the ear canal.