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What is stapedectomy?

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
A stapedectomy operation corrects otosclerosis, a common cause of conductive hearing loss characterized by abnormal growth of bone in the otic capsule, the bone that surrounds the labyrinth of the inner ear. The most common location of the abnormal bone growth is the stapes, the smallest bone in the middle ear. Hearing loss occurs because the stiffened stapes can no longer vibrate and pass sound waves from the ear canal to the inner ear (the deepest part of the ear, consisting of the cochlea and the labyrinth). Surgery can be performed for a person whose hearing is out of the normal hearing range. Working through the ear canal, the surgeon removes all or part of the stapes and replaces it with an artificial one. Because the stapes lies behind the eardrum, the surgeon must move the eardrum out of the way to do the operation and then put it back into place.

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