Endolymphatic shunt

Endolymphatic Shunt

Endolymphatic shunt

Definition: An endolymphatic shunt is really a surgical treatment when a really small silicone tube is positioned within the membranous labyrinth from the body to empty extra fluid.


An endolymphatic shunt is positioned included in the treating Ménière's disorder, a problem from the body whose reason continues to be unknown. Ménière's disease is seen as the next symptoms:

  • hearing loss that is inconsistent
  • ringing, buzzing, or hissing noises within the ears (tinnitus)
  • an increase in the amount of endolymphatic fluid within the labyrinth from the body
  • a feeling how the ears are obstructed or plugged
  • a sensation how the environment or oneself is revolving or spinning (vertigo)

Endolymphatic shunt surgery is among the surgical treatments open to treat Ménière's disease, also is referred to as endolymphatic hydrops. The surgery is dependent on the idea how the disorder leads to the body being beyond capacity with fluid which draining this fluid will reduce the symptoms. The fluid is drained by opening the endolymphatic sac, a pouch located alongside the mastoid bone at the conclusion from the endolymphatic duct. The endolymphatic duct is really a canal leading towards the body.


An endolymphatic shunt is positioned using the patient under general anesthesia. The operation requires about 2 hours carrying out. The individual is generally positioned lying about the back using the head considered one for reds and also the impacted ear lying uppermost. The top is immobilized and backed having a pad or brace. The operation itself starts with opening the mastoid bone and determining the endolymphatic sac. To obtain the sac, the doctor removes the bony cover from the sigmoid sinus that is an S-shaped cavity behind the mastoid bone. The physician leaves intact a little rectangle of thin bone called Bill's Island. The sigmoid sinus will be flattened with gentle pressure. The physician reveals the endolymphatic sac and bakes an incision inside it to be able to put in the shunt.


Generally of Ménière's disease just one ear is impacted, but as much as 15%-40% of patients are impacted in both ears. The oncoming of Ménière's disease happens usually in grown-ups between patient ages of 20 and 50. Women and men are impacted in equal numbers.


There aren't many risks related to endolymphatic shunt surgery. The operation is the first-line medical procedures for Ménière's disease specifically since it is safe. The risk of hearing problems in the procedure is all about 0.5%.

Normal results

Endolymphatic shunt surgery relieves the vertigo related to Ménière's disease, with restoration of hearing determined by the seriousness of the condition. The patient's ear may protrude slightly soon after surgery but commonly returns to its original position within 2 to 3 weeks following the operation. Numbness round the ear is a very common problem that could run many months.


Diagnosing of Ménière's disease is dependent on the patient's health background, an actual evaluation, and also the outcomes of hearing tests, balance tests, an electronystagmogram, and imaging studies. An MRI or CT scan is conducted to eliminate a tumor since the reason for the patient's symptoms. A hearing test (audiogram) recognizes the hearing problems that are usual for Ménière's disease. Balance perform tests are given to evaluate the patient's vertigo. The individual is ready for surgery with the head of hair eliminated and also the skin shaved over a place with a minimum of 1.5 in (3.8 cm) round the site from the incision. A gentle solution of water and soap is often accustomed to cleanse the outer ear and surrounding skin.

Who performs the process and where could it be carried out?

An endolymphatic shunt is conducted inside a hospital or ambulatory surgery focus on an outpatient basis. To control patient’s emotions by an otolaryngologist, who's a surgeon focusing on disorders from the ear, nose, and throat.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Overall, there's a 60% possibility of curing the vertigo, a 20% chance how the attacks will stay in the same degree of severity, along with a 20% chance how the attacks can get worse. Endolymphatic shunt surgery is recognized as a minimal morbidity procedure. It's been reported to attain complete or significant charge of vertigo in 81% of patients, with considerable advancement in hearing within 20%. The patient's vertigo generally increases even when hearing doesn't enhance.

Questions a patient should ask a doctor

  • Will a patient get back hearing basically after having this surgery?
  • How many endolymphatic shunts would a doctor perform every year?
  • What would be the options to an endolymphatic shunt process?
  • How long does it decide to try get over the surgery?
  • Can a patient anticipate improvement most of the other indications of Ménière's disease?


The operated ear is included having a Glassock dressing, the industry special dressing put on keep pressure on the website to lessen swelling. There's generally some pain and discomfort within the operated ear and also the throat in the breathing tube injected during surgery, which may be managed by such analgesic medicines as meperidine (Demerol) or oxycodone (Percocet).


Nonsurgical alternatives
There are many nonsurgical treatments suitable for patients with Ménière's disease:

  • Diuretics: Medicines that boost the body's output of urine may also reduce the regularity of vertigo attacks in certain patients by lowering the quantity of fluid in patient’s body.
  • Vestibular suppressants: They are drugs made to control vertigo attacks; they include mechzine (Antivert), diazepam (Valium), and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine).
  • Steroids: Prednisone along with other steroids happened to be accustomed to treat patients in early stages of Ménière's disease.
  • Dietary changes: Even though advantages of a minimal salt diet haven't been verified by formal scientific research, many patients with Ménière's disease have mentioned that their signs and symptoms improve once they reduce their salt intake.


Surgical other options in keeping an endolymphatic shunt involve:

  • Labyrinthectomy: On this process, the membranous labyrinth from the body is taken away. Labyrinthectomy is much more successful than other surgeries to fight vertigo; however the patient suffers total and permanent lack of hearing within the operated ear.
  • Selective vestibular neurectomy: On this process, the doctor cuts the vestibular nerve, which relays balance, position and motion signals in the body towards the brain. Vestibular neurectomy helps prevent the transmission of defective data in the influenced ear and removes attacks of vertigo in several patients

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