Advances in computer technology and ear surgery have provided doctors with the opportunity to open the world of sound and music to those who may otherwise have missed out. Surgery for deafness is only generally used where it is crucial and there are several procedures which can now be carried out depending on the cause of your hearing loss.
1. Cochlear implants
This particular surgery for deafness is usually reserved for those who were born deaf, although it can also be used for people who lost their hearing due to trauma or disease. The procedure involves placing the implant in two parts, one internal and one external. The internal part of the implant is installed during surgery and bypasses the damaged hair cells in your inner ear. This allows it to send messages to the hearing nerve and into the brain. Once you have healed from this surgery, the external part of the device will be attached to its internal counterpart by a coil and magnet. This surgery for deafness is renowned for its ability to provide those with severe hearing loss with the ability to hear everyday sound such as speech, although the sounds may sound different and it can take patients time to adjust.
2. Myringotomy surgery for deafness
This procedure is usually carried out in one day and under a general anaesthetic. The surgeon will make a small incision in your eardrum, through which they will then place a small vacuum instrument to remove fluid. made in the eardrum, through which a small vacuum appliance is placed to remove fluid. If you then require further treatment, you may be prescribed a round of antibiotics or have a grommet to reduce thicker excess fluid. A grommet is a plastic tube that allows the flow of air into the middle ear through the eardrum. In cases where a grommet is used, it can take a year to flow out fully. The procedure can help by not only improving your hearing but also by relieving the build up in pressure within your ear caused by the excess of fluid.
This surgery for deafness tends to be carried out under general anaesthetic and is generally an outpatient procedure. The procedure is carried out to repair the eardrum and ossicles in your middle ear. It may also be used to treat an ear infection at the back of your ear. Treating these issues will often create an improvement in your hearing but it can take a few weeks before the results of the surgery are clear.
4. Stapes surgery for deafness
This surgery is often given to people who have suffered hearing loss as a result of otosclerosis - an irregular bone growth within the ear. The procedure can usually be carried out under a local anaesthetic and involve a bone known as the stapes bone (one of the three smaller bones in the ossicles of your middle ear). You stapes bone will be replaced by a prosthetic - usually made of stainless steel which should improve your hearing ability.
If you have suffered from hearing loss and would like to know about the surgeries available to you, get in touch with our otorhinolaryngology department.