I have been diagnosed with Otosclerosis in both ears but offered an operation to help hearing in my worst ear which has a loss of down to 80db. It has been getting worse over the last 15 Years I am now 57 . I can either keep getting larger hearing aids until I lose most of my hearing or have it now . I am scared of going completely deaf due to this disease or having the op which may make me go completely deaf or give me tinnitus. My sister committed suicide due to tinnitus so I am petrified of getting it . Is there no way to minimise the risk my surgeon has asked me to think about it but I have no one to give me any further advice . I had seen a lot of success stories and didn’t realise what high risk it was . Grateful for any help Thank you Chrissie
Thanks for your post about otosclerosis and the risk of having an operation to help. I apologise for the delay in our response.
The ENT doctor you are under will be able to give you a thorough explanation of what the surgery will entail and what the risks are. ENT UK website explains the stapedectomy surgery very well and what you should expect - https://www.entuk.org/sites/default/files/files/2012-2015%20About%20Otosclerosis%20and%20Stapedectomy(09008).pdf
It states, “The chances of obtaining a good result from this operation by experienced surgeons are over 80 percent. This means that eight out of ten patients will get an improvement of hearing up to the level at which their inner ear is capable of hearing. You should enquire from your surgeon his/her personal success rate of stapedotomy. Many surgeons keep a database of their results.”
You do not have to have the operation unless you would like to, but speaking about the reasons why surgery has been suggested by the ENT doctor, should help you to make an informed decision. By informing them about your anxieties and concerns about the risks and in particular about tinnitus- this too will help them to understand why you have concerns.
Success rate = 95% does not suggest high risk at all. Unless you have specific additional and related conditions that would indicate a lower success probability. Did your ENT Consultant provide you with a different figure ? Or mention other conditions that put you at higher risk ?
The other 5% breaks down as 4% = no change; 1% = further loss of hearing.