Surgical Solutions for the Ear!

If your child has a chronic ear infection, it is very likely that the physical structure of ears, nose, and throat may be the problem. In such cases, an ENT specialist may recommend a safe, advanced, and proven procedure. 

When all other treatments fail to deliver desired results, then doctors recommend these procedures to the patients. However, chronic infections take time to heal or inflict painThey need to be treated at the earliest.

Is surgery needed for every ear disorder?

Although the majority of ear infections do not require medical intervention and resolve on their own within a few days, experts recommend waiting for 48 hours before prescribing antibiotics. This fact also applies in cases of illness in the ears, in which a condition can tun severe without any major pain or symptom. Therefore, a follow-up visit needs to be in check as sometimes even in small cases as these can turn severe and require immediate medical intervention. 

What are the courses of treatment?

In some cases, the hearing loss can be permanent. Depending on the age and severity of the condition, doctors prescribe treatment option. Generally, two types of courses are suggested as per the condition of the patient: a medical or surgical treatment. 

Medical Treatment

  • If the infection is from bacteria, an ENT specialist may prescribe antibiotics
  • If the infection is from a virus, your doctor may prescribe pain medicine to get relief.

Surgical Treatment

If the ear infection is persistent or lasts for a long time, your doctor may suggest surgery. Considering advances in the medical industry, some high-precision surgical procedures are effective, safe and performed under 60-90 minutes using best-in-class medical devices.

Surgical treatments often include the insertion of an ear ventilation tube in kids to let fluid drain or the removal of swollen or inflamed adenoids where bacteria can breed and block natural drainage into the throat.

What are the different surgical procedures of the ear?

Cochlear Implant Ear Surgery: 

In this type of ear surgery, the doctors place cochlear implants inside the ear. A cochlear implant is a surgically-implanted electronic device to amplify sound to people with chronic hearing loss. Chronic hearing loss can be due to- damage or a defect in the inner ear. Cochlear implants bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear and stimulate the auditory nerve directly to send information to the brain.

Congenital Atresia Ear Reconstruction: 

This surgical repair is for those people who were born without certain parts of the ear’s anatomy, including the:

  • Ear canal
  • Tympanic membrane (eardrum)
  • Ossicular chain (middle ear bones of hearing)

CyberKnife radiosurgery:

The CyberKnife radiosurgery cures ear disorders that arise to brain dysfunctional. In this type of surgery, the doctor treats several parts of the brain using laser radiation. This procedure involves no cuts or incisions as the tissue is destroyed using rays.

Labyrinthectomy:

A trans-mastoid surgical procedure that removes remaining inner ear balance function from the diseased ear causing vertigo and disequilibrium.

Mastoidectomy:

There is a space inside the ear known as the mastoid space that directly connects with the middle ear. It consists of several important structures that are necessary for the functioning of the ear. In mastoidectomy, the surgeon cleans the mastoid. After making an incision inside behind the outer ear, the abnormal content and outer layer of the bone are removed. The surgery is completed by gluing back the incisions.

Myringotomy

The surgical procedure to open the eardrum and remove fluid from the middle ear. The surgeon inserts a small tube in the middle of the ear in some cases to maintain drainage. 

Otologic Laser Procedures:

Leveraging lasers with micro-millimeter spot size and accuracy, ENT surgeons can perform extremely delicate ear procedures minimizing trauma to the inner ear, compared to other surgical techniques.

Osseointegrated Bone Conduction Hearing System:

In this ear procedure, the surgeon places bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) to the skull to transmit sound. This implant allows sound to bypass the external auditory canal and middle ear.

Particle Repositioning Maneuver: 

Due to the floating of minute calcium crystals freely in the inner ear, a type of vertigo develops. This therapeutic maneuver redirects the particles back in the part of the inner ear where they belong.

Stapedectomy/Stapedotomy: 

Surgeons use this procedure to treat ear disorders, in which they remove the stapes bone and replace it with a prosthesis. The hearing restores right away. However, if the bleeding behind the eardrum gets persistent, this adversely affects the hearing. You should notice a significant improvement in hearing within 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Tympanoplasty: 

Surgery on the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and/or middle ear bones to restore the middle ear hearing mechanism.

Translabyrinthine: 

The surgeon removes the mastoid bone and bone in the inner ear for access to the ear canal to treat the patient. Moreover, surgeons use this approach when hearing is already minimal.

Retrosigmoid/Suboccipital: 

The surgeon makes an incision through an opening in the skull, behind the mastoid part of the ear. This helps view the facial nerve and save your hearing. Additionally, the surgeon can use this approach for both large and small tumors.

Middle Fossa: 

Rather a complex surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor from the upper surface of the internal ear canal beyond the inner ear. When doctors feel that there is a high probability that the condition is curable, then they go for this approach.

Final Words

To improve hearing or alleviate pain due to otitis media, or to repair perforations, ENT doctors recommend surgical procedures. Moreover, less common surgeries are necessary to improve congenital deformities. Doctors also perform surgery to cure certain types of conductive hearing loss. Hence, it becomes important for a thorough examination by an ENT physician and audiologist to determine if your hearing loss can be surgically improved.

Also Read: Can surgery help in ear infections or a punctured eardrum?

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