What You Have and Haven't Heard about Ear Surgery.
Modern technology has reduced the challenge presented by ear surgery. Otoplasty (ear surgery) often calls on the surgeon to look and operate through the ear canal. Modern day operating microscopes increase the size of the image within the scope lens. When the ear surgeon uses an operating microscope, the objects in the ear appear larger.
Today much of ear surgery depends on the ability of the surgeon to manipulate a laser beam. Laser surgery is more precise than conventional surgery. Laser surgery removes from the operating room large amounts of a formerly seen substance - blood.
There are two types of laser surgery: carbon dioxide, argon laser surgery and KTD laser surgery. Both types of laser surgery provide the ear surgeon with an excellent tool. Both types of laser surgery can be used to perform either a stapedectomy or a removal of inflamed tissue.
During a stapedecotmy, the laser beam is used to put a hole in the ear drum. The ear surgeon then raises a flap of tissue on the ear drum. By lifting that flap of tissue, the ear surgeon can expose the three bones in the middle ear. The ear surgeon uses the laser to vaporize the stapes (one of three bones in the middle ear).
Vaporization of the stapes allows the surgeon to proceed to the next step - placement of a "window" on the tissue between the middle and inner ear. Using the laser, the surgeon can create a small window on that tiny piece of tissue. The surgeon leaves the incus and malleus (two other bones in the middle ear) intact.
The incus bone is attached to an artificial ear bone, a bone that replaces the vaporized stapes. . Still, sound can not be transmitted by an ear with a damaged ear drum. The ear surgeon uses fat or other tissue to seal the window in one of the ear's natural dividers.
That laser procedure gives patients who have been struggling to hear every word a chance to relax while they listen to a conversation. Replacement of a stapes is usually done in an adult patient. A younger patient, one who has had a number of ear infections, might need to have fluid drained from the middle ear.
The draining of fluid from the middle ear requires surgery. The surgeon first dries the patient's ear and gives the patient antibiotics. The surgeon slits the ear drum and then inserts a tiny tube in that slit. The fluid drains from the middle ear into the tube.
After about 4 to 6 weeks, the tiny tube works its way out of the ear. By that time all the fluid once in the middle ear has drained from that compartment. The young patient no longer needs to ask, "What did you say?" over and over again.
The work of the ear surgeon has helped many children to enjoy better performance in school. After ear surgery, they can show the teacher that they now hear more, and they remember almost everything that they have managed to hear.