Specialized Care for Hearing and Balance
Through a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance issues, the Hearing and Balance Center provides an academically based, cost-effective, thorough level of care that benefits patients and referring physicians-one of the few facilities in the country to concentrate on this specialty.
Our Lady of the Lake's Hearing and Balance Center provides a number of specialty services:
- Skull-based surgery is a multidisciplinary approach for treating acoustic neuroma (non-cancerous growth) and other skull base tumors. Treatments include neurotology, neurosurgery, audiology and electrophysiologic cranial nerve monitoring.
- Inner ear profusion involves treating the inner ear with medications for sudden hearing loss, Ménière's disease and tinnitus.
- Implantable hearing devices offered include cochlear implants, Baha® implants and implantable hearing aids.
- Telemedicine consultations are provided for patients with complex hearing and vestibular disorders, a unique service that combines onsite evaluation and testing with offsite video consultation.
Other advanced treatments:
- During micro-laser middle ear surgery, a special argon laser permits intraoperative vaporization of cholesteatoma (skin cyst), scar and calcium in cases of chronic infection or hearing loss from otosclerosis and fixation of the ossicles.
- The center specializes in revision ear surgeries for patients who continue to suffer from ear infection or hearing loss after previous ear surgery.
- While most cases of Bell's palsy are best managed with medication, the Center offers specialized electroneuronography (ENoG) testing that identifies severe cases where decompression of the facial nerve can improve recovery and maximize long-term facial function.
- Endolymphatic sac decompression, done on an outpatient basis, improves inner ear fluid drainage Ménière's disease and endolymphatic hydrops. It usually resolves the most severe symptoms of Ménière's disease.
- When medications no longer help, vestibular nerve surgery can be highly effective in eliminating recurring attacks of vertigo even after years of recurring dizziness.
- Hearing preservation acoustic neuroma surgery: When identified early, acoustic tumors, which arise from the hearing and balance nerve, can be removed with special middle fossa or retrosigmoid techniques that preserve hearing and facial and balance function.