Ear Surgery - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

11.13.03

Ear Surgery

There are 3 tiny bones in the middle ear. They conduct sound from the ear drum to the cochlea - which is the organ of hearing. In 10% of people, those bones will harden and cause hearing loss -- that's called Otosclerosis. But doctors can now fix it with microscopic surgery. Doctors found for patients who have this problem, the bones in their middle ear won't  move properly and as a results prevents sound from being transmitted to the brain.

But doctors can change that now. What they do is to remove the outer part of the stapes, called the arch. Then they disconnect the arch, thus creating the opening into the inner ear, and then connect the incus to that opening called the prosthesis." Doctors then put a prostheses in the ear. Once the prosthesis is in place, it has to be connected to the incus. One blast of the laser and the hook automatically hugs the incus bone. Now the entire middle ear moves. And within a week, the patient will be able to hear out of her right ear. The cause of Otosclerosis is unknown, but it does travel in families. It's also much more common in females and young people. The disease causes progressive, painless deafness if it's not treated.

Reported by News 6 Sarah Warlick

 

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