Surfers ear surgery

Belchfire1

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jun 27, 2013
451
10
18
Leucadia
I'm thinking it's time. 90% blocked in L ear 80% in R ear.
Has anyone had it done recently? Chisel or Drill seem to be the 2 options.
Any opinions?

Cheers,
Belch
 

rowjimmytour

Phil Edwards status
Feb 7, 2009
5,838
182
63
Rbeach
I'm thinking it's time. 90% blocked in L ear 80% in R ear.
Has anyone had it done recently? Chisel or Drill seem to be the 2 options.
Any opinions?

Cheers,
Belch
Maybe things have changed but I heard and was told not to get the surgery until it gets so bad that water well not drain and causes infections. I was also told chisel works best. Start wearing earplugs if you have not started. This can further delay surgery and even bring your ears back to health.
 

Belchfire1

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jun 27, 2013
451
10
18
Leucadia
Maybe things have changed but I heard and was told not to get the surgery until it gets so bad that water well not drain and causes infections. I was also told chisel works best. Start wearing earplugs if you have not started. This can further delay surgery and even bring your ears back to health.
I agree with that logic. I have been wearing plugs 100% for a few years now. No infections or trapped water. My hearing is kinda suffering and I hope that the surgery would help me not feel like an old man always asking peeps to repeat themselves. ha
 

Woke AF

Phil Edwards status
Jul 29, 2009
5,790
234
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Southern Tip, Norcal
don't let it go to 100% blockage. Mine did, so they had to guess where to drill, which took them 3 or so hours. Surgeon said it was sketchy.
I recently was told @ 80% closure if I am not getting infections(only 1 in 30 years surfing) just keep an eye on it.
 

Belchfire1

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jun 27, 2013
451
10
18
Leucadia
I've been wearing Mack's plugs for years, the purple ones. Cheap and keeps water out. I've had zero issues since I started wearing them. My surfers ear hasn't progressed but it hasn't gotten better either (not sure that's possible)
 
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kelly7873

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jan 20, 2002
541
14
18
Honolulu
I'm thinking it's time. 90% blocked in L ear 80% in R ear.
Has anyone had it done recently? Chisel or Drill seem to be the 2 options.
Any opinions?

Cheers,
Belch
I've had both done. The left ear about 10 years ago. The doctor said the growth was shaped like a mushroom, one hit with the chisel and it came off clean. In the OR about 10 minutes but it took about 3 months to heal. Right ear was done earlier this year different doctor. There were three bumps with one right up against the drum. The doctor used a chisel and the drill and it took about 3 hours. My jaw was very sore but I was good to go after a few weeks.
The first one my insurance paid for, the second one my insurance paid like 80% and I had to pay $3000.
 

SurfDoc

Michael Peterson status
Dec 19, 2002
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ex-pat Huntington Beach
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Wear the plugs! Try a couple different ones until you find what is comfortable for you. I like Doc's ProPlugs. As for surgery when the ear becomes symptomatic (infections, pain, blockage etc.) get the surgery. I tend to advise the flap and chisel, but you have to confer with your local ENT. Try to find one with experience at removing osteomata. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3370017/
 
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Woke AF

Phil Edwards status
Jul 29, 2009
5,790
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Southern Tip, Norcal
Anyone in Monterey/Santa Cruz have a surgeon they’d recommend?
Douglas Hetzler, M.D., FACS
I was diagnosed that I needed it on my other ear(the one that was a virgin). Made the appointment... Went to have my hearing tested by an audiologist. She said my ear wasn't bad. Told Hetzler, he asked if I was having any infections and I said no. He recommended to postpone the surgery until water didn't drain or I started getting infections. That was 3-4 years ago. No infections, no problems and no surgery.
An honest dr who is competent is worth their weight in gold.
 
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llilibel03

Miki Dora status
Jul 28, 2005
5,474
244
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Douglas Hetzler, M.D., FACS
I was diagnosed that I needed it on my other ear(the one that was a virgin). Made the appointment... Went to have my hearing tested by an audiologist. She said my ear wasn't bad. Told Hetzler, he asked if I was having any infections and I said no. He recommended to postpone the surgery until water didn't drain or I started getting infections. That was 3-4 years ago. No infections, no problems and no surgery.
An honest dr who is competent is worth their weight in gold.
I had my left ear done a long time ago. Drilled from behind. It was over 90% closed. Pre-op they gave a full hearing test in a soundproof booth. My hearing was fine. When the MD told me this my wife was glaring at me. Surfer's ear was my go to excuse for years for just about every thing. I asked why I need the operation? They said as small as my ear opening was, if I got an infection it would seal off and it gets really hard to fight the infection with antibiotics that are not ear drops. Sometimes they have to operate under emergency conditions, where they cannot see the eardrum as they drill.

My right ear has been over 80 % closed since that time, but I wear a hood when water temps are below 62 degrees and it has not gotten worse. I use homemade ear drops 50/50 rubbing alcohol and distilled white vinegar (MD's recipe).
 

Woke AF

Phil Edwards status
Jul 29, 2009
5,790
234
63
Southern Tip, Norcal
I had my left ear done a long time ago. Drilled from behind. It was over 90% closed. Pre-op they gave a full hearing test in a soundproof booth. My hearing was fine. When the MD told me this my wife was glaring at me. Surfer's ear was my go to excuse for years for just about every thing. I asked why I need the operation? They said as small as my ear opening was, if I got an infection it would seal off and it gets really hard to fight the infection with antibiotics that are not ear drops. Sometimes they have to operate under emergency conditions, where they cannot see the eardrum as they drill.

My right ear has been over 80 % closed since that time, but I wear a hood when water temps are below 62 degrees and it has not gotten worse. I use homemade ear drops 50/50 rubbing alcohol and distilled white vinegar (MD's recipe).
My right ear was 100% closed and they drilled it out. The surgeon said it was really sketchy, the canal was a series of pockets of bone, so she went really slow. 3+ hrs

My left ear got infected and I could not hear anything, nothing at all because my right is fcked from a different problem with the inner ear. So I woke-up deaf one morning. Freaked out went to a local ENT, she was an idiot trying to suck out the wax while my ear was closed with infection, she gave me some drops and they worked well. She wanted to refer me to someone she knew and have surgery ASAP. I went with Hetzler. I would definitely go back to him if it needs to happen.

I try to keep the wax flushed out with a spray bottle/ tube and some vinegar/hydrogen peroxide/water mixture.
 

llilibel03

Miki Dora status
Jul 28, 2005
5,474
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FYI- to original poster, if you're in the LA area, I had my ear done at House Ear -

 
Oct 6, 2017
87
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Central Coast CA
Douglas Hetzler, M.D., FACS
I was diagnosed that I needed it on my other ear(the one that was a virgin). Made the appointment... Went to have my hearing tested by an audiologist. She said my ear wasn't bad. Told Hetzler, he asked if I was having any infections and I said no. He recommended to postpone the surgery until water didn't drain or I started getting infections. That was 3-4 years ago. No infections, no problems and no surgery.
An honest dr who is competent is worth their weight in gold.
thanks!

was talking to someone in the water today that recommended him as well.
 

isurfcardiff

OTF status
May 8, 2014
187
20
18
I have a gnarly story about my ear. Had exostosis in my left ear, but also had cholesteatoma in my inner ear. I couldn't hear and was getting infections all the time. They had to drill through canal for the exostosis, and go behind the ear for the cholesteatoma. 5.5 hrs surgery! They had to replace my inner ear bones (auditory ossicle) with a prosthesis. Felt like I got ran over by a semi when I came to afterwards. Thank goodness my hearing is much better, no more infections, and no complications either. My advice, go to a good ENT and then go to another one to get a second opinion before going under the knife or drill or chisel. And, yes, if you have up to 80-90% blockage, you can prevent surfer's ear from getting worse by wearing plugs (and a hood).
 
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grg

Miki Dora status
Mar 11, 2006
4,682
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Tuna Town/Baja
Had it done and Dr. used both tools from what I understand. Went well for me with minimal recovery and much better. I could hear and water wouldn't get caught behind the Bone Dam.