Magazine article USA TODAY

Treating Vertigo by Surgery

Magazine article USA TODAY

Treating Vertigo by Surgery

Article excerpt

A surgical technique on one of the inner ear balance canals is relieving severe, long-standing positional vertigo in patients at the Ochsner Medical Institutions, New Orleans. During an office exam, the individual is moved to his or her back and placed in different positions. Rapid eye motion is used to help detect if one of the inner ear's three canals is malfunctioning, causing the vertigo. Usually, it is the posterior semicircular canal.

During the one-and-a-half-hour surgery, an incision is made behind the ear. The inner ear is opened and the malfunctioning balance canal is blocked off to prevent it from causing vertigo. Using the patient's bone dust and fibrous tissue taken from the operative area, a plug is fashioned to block the canal. The plugged area is less than a half-inch in width. The average hospital stay is two to three days. Risks of infection and hearing loss are minimal. Results are noticeable within two weeks following surgery.

Positional vertigo is one of the most common types of dizziness seen in adults. …

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