Endolymphatic sac surgery is a procedure done in people suffering from Meniere’s disease. The surgery is done to maintain hydrostatic pressure and balance of endolymph in the inner ear. Meniere’s disease is a condition in which a person experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and occasional vertigo. The cause of Ménière’s disease is not known. Studies suggest that the cause of Ménière’s disease could be increased endolymph pressure. Due to increased pressure, the inner ear membranes get ruptured resulting in the mixing of endolymph and perilymph. This results in vertigo and hearing loss.
Endolymphatic sac surgery can help to reverse the damage to the ear and can help in maintaining the balance of hearing. It is suitable for people who are not responding to the medicines and the problem is affecting their lifestyle greatly.
Causes of Ménière’s Disease
The root cause of Ménière’s disease is not known. There is a fluid in the ear that works by stimulating receptors when the body moves. When the receptors get stimulated, signals reach the brain about the position and movement of the body. In Ménière’s disease, there is an abnormal amount of fluid that interferes with the signals sent to the brain by the receptors. This causes the symptoms of Ménière’s disease.
In some cases, the pressure is very high which ruptures the membranes and the person experiences frequent and severe spells of vertigo and hearing loss.
Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease
Meniere’s disease may develop without any noticeable signs and symptoms. First, an individual will experience a sensation of pressure in the ear, and ringing in the ears. Slowly, he may experience gradual hearing loss and occasional episodes of vertigo. The symptoms of Meniere’s disease may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the problem. The most important symptoms of Meniere’s disease are:
There is a feeling of dizziness or spinning of everything around. In some people, it is very severe and the person is unable to stand up. The dizziness may last for a few minutes to hours and can cause nausea, vomiting, and sweating.
There is a feeling of pressure and fullness in the ear.
The ability to hear feeble sounds is lost and slowly hearing loss progresses. Hearing loss may worsen slowly.
There may be a constant feeling of ringing in the ears.
Some people may experience headaches and uncontrollable eye movements
You can make an appointment with the ENT specialist at the CARE Hospitals to understand the process of endolymphatic sac surgery and its outcomes. When you schedule an appointment, the doctor will take a complete history.
The doctor will also do a physical examination to assess the general medical condition.
The doctor will carry out some tests to analyze your balance issues. He may also recommend audiograms and blood tests to diagnose the problem.
Endolymphatic sac surgery can be done in an outpatient department. The doctor will ask you to stop taking any blood-thinning medicines one or two weeks before surgery.
You will be asked to stop smoking before surgery to get the best outcomes.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.
The doctor will make an incision behind the ear and open the mastoid bone. The bone is removed as the doctor wants to view the endolymphatic sac. A laser is used to make a hole in the outer layer of the sac.
Then, a shunt is inserted into the sac to drain the excess fluid. After removing the fluid, the incision is closed. This helps in reducing the pressure of fluid inside the sac. The surgery will take about one and half hours or more depending on the condition of the patient.
You will be shifted to a recovery room where your condition will be monitored until you become conscious. Most patients are sent back home the same day if everything remains ok but you may be kept under observation overnight if you are suffering from other medical problems.
After the surgery
You may experience pain a few days after surgery. If you do not get relief from pain from the pain killer medicines recommended by the doctor, you must inform him.
You can go back to work a day after surgery. The sense of hearing will improve slowly in a few weeks and will return to normal slowly.
Risks of endolymphatic sac surgery
Some people may experience complications after endolymphatic sac surgery. The main risks associated with endolymphatic sac surgery include the following:
Some people may experience more vertigo attacks after the surgery
In some people, hearing loss may become worse
Some people may experience more ringing in the ears after surgery
A facial nerve injury may occur in rare cases
There may be leaking of spinal fluid that can lead to meningitis
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