Ear & Skull Base Surgery

In addition to his work at HNSA, Dr. Hodgson also sub-specializes in Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery. Dr. Hodgson’s practice is one of the leading centers in the Pacific Northwest for patients seeking medical or surgical treatment for hearing and balance related conditions. Dedicated to offering cutting edge care options, Dr. Hodgson provides audiologic care for complex hearing problems as well as the treatment of conditions such as cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, BPPV and Meniere’s Disease. For more information on Dr. Hodgson’s practice, please visit his website. The list to the right is an abridged list of the most common ear and skull base surgery related procedures managed by the highly trained, diverse group of specialists at HNSA. It is for patient information only and is not meant to be all-inclusive.

Bone Anchored Hearing Aids

Bone anchored hearing aids may be for patients who:

  • Have conductive or mixed hearing loss.
  • Have a chronically draining ear that, despite medical intervention, cannot use a traditional hearing aid.
  • Have no ear canal, or small, malformed outer ears.
  • Have single sided deafness.

Bone anchored hearing aids involve the placement of a titanium screw fixture in the mastoid bone behind the ear and under the skin. A small abutment then protrudes outward, allowing the attachment of a sound processor. The sound processer serves as a way to direct sound towards the inner ear while bypassing the outer and middle ear. Placement is an outpatient procedure and there is a 3-4 month post-operative waiting period before the sound processor can be activated.

Cochlear Implants

For patients with severe bilateral hearing loss that is not treatable with traditional hearing aids, cochlear implants may be an option. Patients must first undergo a series of tests to determine if cochlear implants could be a good fit. During surgery, a tiny array of electrodes is placed within the cochlea, which provides stimulation to the neural fibers that transmit hearing impulses. An external ‘speech processor’ that resembles a behind the ear hearing aid is worn in conjunction with the internal components. Cochlear implants are an outpatient procedure and recovery time is typically 5-10 days.

Skull Base Tumors

An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor growth that occurs on the nerve for hearing and balance function, between the inner ear and the brainstem. Very slow growing, it typically causes gradual hearing loss and ringing in the ear. Surgical removal is typically the treatment of choice, however, hearing does not improve with removal. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, some hearing conservation techniques are available.

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