Birth of Ear Microsurgery — Stapedectomy
Dr. John Shea, the world renowned Stapedectomy Surgeon born on 4.9.1924 in Memphis, Tenessee, USA, was the first ENT surgeon to use ‘Teflon Piston’ (a bio-compatible implant made up of Polytetrafluroethylene) to replace the ‘Fixed Stapes’ due to Otosclerosis (resulting in deafness). This surgery was successfully conducted 60 years ago on 1.5.1956 on a 54-year-old housewife. Thanks to the foresight and fortitude of Dr.John Shea, millions of people suffering from deafness due to Otosclerosis are benefitted by this surgery even to this day. Dr. John Shea, who died on 8.2.2015 at the age of 90 years, is fondly remembered as “The Father of Stapedectomy.” Here we publish an article by Dr. M.S. Natashekar, a Senior ENT Surgeon practicing in Mysuru since 1985. He is a recipient of ‘Dr.Jayathilakan Gold Medal’ for his paper presentation on “My Experience in Stapedectomy” at South-Zone ENT Conference held in Mysuru in 1993. —Ed
Deafness or hearing impairment, an invisible handicap, is a real malady. The incidence of deafness, due to many causes, is on the rise nowadays. Deafness can be due to:
a) Congenital deafness (by birth)
b) Chronic ear discharge with a hole in the ear drum
c) Fluid in the middle ear
d) Fixation of the Stapes bone, in the middle ear (also known as Otosclerosis)
e) Exposure to loud noise
f) Old age
g) Wax impaction etc.
Deafness can be mild to moderate to severe to profound hearing loss, depending on various etiological factors and duration of the illness.
Patients with hearing problems avoid mixing with people, and stay isolated, often leading to social problems.
Patients suffering from hearing problems should get themselves evaluated by an ENT specialist. After careful examination of the ear drum, detailed history of the illness is taken. Tuning-fork test and audiometric evaluation is done, and if the patient is known to suffer from “Otosclero...more