How Much Does a Stapedectomy Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

A stapedectomy, according to the surgery encyclopedia, is “a surgical procedure where the innermost bone of the three bones — the stapes, the incus, and the malleus of the middle ear is removed and replaced with a small plastic tube surrounding a short length of stainless steel wire.”   These three bones in the middle ear enable the sound to be transmitted from the eardrum to the inner ear.

A stapedectomy will often be required when a patient suffers from otosclerosis, which is a metabolic disease that fixes the stapes to the inner ear, preventing its vibration, or when there is a congenital stapes malformation.

How much does stapedectomy surgery cost?

The cost of a stapedectomy depends on the geographical location, the doctor performing the procedure, the complexity of the procedure, the inclusions in the bill and if health insurance is involved.   On average, a stapedectomy can cost anywhere from $7,000 to as much as $15,000 without any sort of insurance if it were done at an outpatient center.  This estimate, however, could be much more if you were to have the procedure performed at a local hospital.

According to this forum thread on, a member talked about the estimates he received.  His quote, which he received from a freestanding surgical center, was under $6,000.  This included the consultations, blood tests, cardiologist and one follow-up visit.

Stapedectomy surgery overview

The cost of a stapedectomy usually includes the surgeon’s fees, anesthesiologist fees, and hospital costs.  Follow-up visits for three months may also be included in the fee, but this isn’t always the case.  Be sure to talk to the hospital and doctor’s office you’re working with to see what’s going to be covered.

A stapedectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the stapes or one of the three bones in the middle ear, replacing it with a prosthesis to improve or restore hearing.  Before the procedure begins, the patient will be given a mild sedative and then local anesthesia or general anesthesia will be used.

During the procedure, the stapes will be removed and replaced with a plastic prosthetic bone, which will be positioned between the inner ear and the incus.  If the procedure was successfully done, the bones will be rejoined and the eardrum will be put back in place.  The procedure will help with the movement of sound through the inner ear.  The entire procedure will be done through the ear canal.

The procedure is often done in an outpatient center and should not take any longer than a few hours.

After the procedure is complete, a cotton packing is placed inside your ear, which you will need to continue to pack your ear for the next seven days to keep it safe from infections.  In most cases, you will be either discharged that day or the following morning if the doctor wanted to monitor your progress.  It could take up two to four weeks for your ears to completely heal.

What are the extra costs?

Prior to your test, you may need a hearing test before being admitted.  The average hearing test can cost up to $250.

Pre-operation and/or postoperative care, such as visits or follow-up check-ups with the doctor and/or surgeon, need to be budgeted for if not included in the original estimate.

In the future, a slight incision may be necessary near the earlobe to extract excess fat that has built up.

Prescriptions such as pain relievers and ear drops will need to be budgeted for.

Tips to know

Otosclerosis affects around 10 percent of the United States population.

If you come down with a cold or even a slight runny nose within two weeks of the surgery, make sure you inform your surgeon.  He or she may want to postpone the surgery so there is a lower risk of a potential infection.

Common risks and side effects can include a change in taste, perforated eardrum, damage to the small bones attached to the eardrum, infection, facial nerve paralysis, dizziness, and ringing in the ear.

The modern-day stapedectomy, being performed since 1956, has a success rate of 90 percent, but in some cases, in less than one percent of surgeries, the procedure could worsen your hearing.

How can I save money?

When in doubt,  get a second opinion on your condition.  This will help you decide whether you really need the procedure.

There are alternatives such as medication, hearing aids or even waiting it out.  Talk to your doctor to discuss your options.

You can save money if your insurance company as long as it’s deemed medically necessary and you meet the insurance company’s requirements.  To be certain, talk with your insurance company ahead of time to see if they will cover it and which doctor they cover.  If you don’t have insurance or are thinking about switching, consider browsing policies in your area for free at

If you don’t have insurance, talk with your doctor’s office to see if they offer cash discounts or financing options.

A freestanding outpatient center will always be much cheaper than a hospital, so if at all possible, receive your quotes a few quotes from these centers that often package the entire surgery as one fee.

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