Medical Q&As

Stapedectomy - during pregnancy?

I am 5 weeks pregnant and am due to have an operation in February. I underwent a stapedectomy in September 2002 but the prosthesis moved slightly in my ear and I have to have a further operation. Should I tell the surgeon that Iím pregnant or will I just go ahead with it. I canít hear in my left ear and its very frustrating. I had my appendix taken out on my last pregnancy. Should I go ahead with the operation?

Stapedectomy is a surgical operation that involves the removal of the stapes from the ear and replacing it with a special prosthesis. The stapes is one of three ossicles or tiny bones that are located in the middle ear. The term is derived from the Latin word for stirrup and refers to the fact that the bone is stirrup-shaped. Stapedectomy is usually performed as a treatment for otosclerosis, which is a condition that involves the growth of bone around the stapes thereby fusing it and preventing its normal vibration in response to sound waves coming through the eardrum. Otosclerosis can result in a severe degree of hearing loss. The prosthesis that replaces the stapes is quite small and can be displaced very easily. Repeat procedures such as the one you require are not unusual. With regard to the fact that you are in the early stages of pregnancy I would suggest that you inform the surgeon of that fact. I suspect that surgery might need to be deferred until your baby is born, which would usually be the case with most elective surgery. I note your comment about having an appendicectomy on your last pregnancy but that would have been a completely different scenario to the present because such surgery would have been essential and could not be safely deferred. If you had not undergone an appendicectomy on that occasion the consequences for you and your baby could have been very serious. In summary you should not attempt to conceal the fact that you are pregnant. You must inform the surgeon.