Surgery for Surfers ear

grazza's picture
grazza started the topic in Sunday, 10 May 2015 at 8:23am

Getting close to to point where I have to have the op. So, who are the best surgeons for this in Sydney? Who has the most experience, the best techniques and the highest success rate? And is there anyone taking a minimally invasive approach that who see me back in the water quicker? Any other tips from those who have it done?

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd commented Wednesday, 13 May 2015 at 6:21pm

There is at least one other forum topic on this somewhere in the SW vaults. Hey Stu .... how about dialling it up.

What's the minimal invasive approach grazza? I've has both done and the doc (at the time I lived in Melbourne) went straight in the ear canal. Worked a treat .... out of the water each time 6 weeks.

If you think it needs doing get it gone early, way less swelling / pain etc.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 13 May 2015 at 6:34pm

Sorry Grazza, this one slipped through the net. There's been a few threads on this before:

https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/11141
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/87781

grazza's picture
grazza's picture
grazza commented Wednesday, 13 May 2015 at 7:39pm

Apparently there's a doc in California who uses an approach that only has you out if the water for a week or so - http://www.pamf.org/ENT/services/surfersear.html Sounds good, but I've got idea whether it's advisable for not, or indeed available in Australia.

I was looking for recommendations on surgeons who successfully do a lot of these ops. As a believer in the 10,000 hour rule, I wanted to know who was the go to doc. Thanks for the other threads, Ben - the first one in particular was useful - but I am after a specific answer to the recommendation question and I figured this was as good a place as any to ask.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 13 May 2015 at 7:50pm

Good vid of the surgery.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd commented Wednesday, 13 May 2015 at 10:14pm

.

Swany's picture
Swany's picture
Swany commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 7:07am

Grazza - did you have any joy finding an Australian surgeon using the chisel - both ears in one go? Just trying to suss it out myself.... info is thin on the ground...

bigbooby's picture
bigbooby's picture
bigbooby commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 8:46pm

They used the chisel 13 years ago on my right.... Right was 98% closed, and the left was 95% closed at the time. Then I have have been managing both diligently with Blue tack as plugs and a hood since. I was on a regular check up on my ear for 5 years for study of recovery and my management techniques. I started to have some probs with left 2 years ago... so had that done in June. Not sure whether they drilled or chiseled. My right is virtually still 100% clear and left has healed well. Management now recommended by Geelong hospital is blue tac. Not sure for how long they have been doing this. ENT there do a lot of ears. If you get it done, or have youngsters surfing... management is the key. Not surprising in my case... we knew nothing about this condition when we were young and surfing every chance we could get - as well as lifetime (57 years) of surfing, sailing and white water kayaking for me.. cold wind the killer. Windsurfers very prone to getting it. Living on a down south coast and surfing winters all added up.
I don't think any surgeon would do both at once. If something went wrong with surgery you could end up deaf. As it is, the packing stays in for ages and you are deaf in that ear temporarily.

shauntomson1's picture
shauntomson1's picture
shauntomson1 commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 7:32am

Swany - I have had the op done 5 times, first in '81 - once with a drill on each ear, both at the same time - out the water for 6 weeks - surgeon went straight into ear canal, no cutting of ear from the back. Quite a bit of pain and hassle.
Then had it done when I moved to Santa Barbara in '95 - turned out a local surgeon Busby invented a micro chisel technique going in straight through the ear and no cutting of the ear.
This is the best way to go - highly recommend.
He would cut the skin inside ear canal covering the bony growths, fold the skin flaps back, and chisel away at the bone, then flap the skin back - healing time was fast, pain was minimal - I did both at the same time and was back in the water in 2 weeks. The drill just shreds the skin so healing time is a lot longer. Had the surgery again on just my right ear (most surfers have problems on this ear since this the ear the prevailing winds hit) a few years back. I have used plugs or silicon sealer every surf since '81 so maybe it helps slow down growth but doesn't stop it. However I seldom get ear infections - if I feel the slightest twinge I use a steroid otic drop called Covomycin D - 3 drops in for 10 seconds and then turn your head to roll them out.
If you need more info [email protected]

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 8:15am

"Had the surgery again on just my right ear (most surfers have problems on this ear since this the ear the prevailing winds hit)".
What happens if you surf on the west coast, or the east coast in the Northern hemisphere ?

Had one done when I was 16, used blue tac, then wax, then plugs, and haven't had problems in the decades since.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 10:40am

" ...... so maybe it helps slow down growth but doesn't stop it ....".

I've had both done via the ear canal and my surgeon told me there is an emerging evidence there is a genetic link at play. Certain people are more prone to the problem e.g. some teens who are squad swimmers can experience the same problem even though most of their swimming is in heated water/environments.

sumrsurf's picture
sumrsurf's picture
sumrsurf commented Tuesday, 29 Jan 2019 at 4:12pm

There's a Dr in Japan my friends flew over too and uses a different technique, no drill both ears the same day back in the water in a bit under 3 weeks. Dr Haruka Nakanishi. He was trained by an American Dr using the same technique, Apparently way cheaper than Oz and NZ and less time out the water ,, if that helps at all..