Department of Otolaryngology

Surgical Treatment Options

The UPMC Ear and Hearing Center offers numerous surgical options to treat hearing or ear conditions.

Acoustic Neuroma Surgery

Depending on your hearing status and the size and location of the tumor, your doctor will select one of the following surgical methods to remove the acoustic neuroma:


The surgeon removes the mastoid bone and bone in the inner ear for access to the ear canal to remove the tumor. Surgeons often use this approach when hearing is already minimal.


The surgeon makes an incision through an opening in the skull, behind the mastoid part of the ear. This makes it easier to view the facial nerve and save your hearing. Surgeons can use this approach for both large and small tumors.

Middle Fossa

The surgeon removes the tumor from the upper surface of the internal ear canal beyond the inner ear. We opt for this approach when there is a high probability that your hearing may be preserved.

Cochlear Implant

Surgery A cochlear implant is a surgically-implanted electronic device that helps provide sound to people with severe hearing loss. This severe type of hearing loss is usually caused by damage or a defect in the inner ear.

Cochlear implants bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve to send information to the brain.

Congenital Atresia Repair

Surgical reconstruction for people who were born without certain parts of their ear's anatomy, including the:

  • Ear canal
  • Tympanic membrane (eardrum)
  • Ossicular chain (middle ear bones of hearing)

CyberKnife® Radiosurgery

CyberKnife radiosurgery is a technique to treat ear and hearing disorders that are related to brain conditions.

It uses a highly focused beam of radiation to target specific areas of the brain. Since the beam of radiation destroys the tissue that a surgeon would remove with a scalpel during an operation, no actual cutting is involved in the procedure.


A transmastoid surgical procedure that removes remaining inner ear balance function from the diseased ear causing vertigo and disequilibrium.

Myringotomy and Ventilation Tubes

A surgical procedure to open the eardrum and remove fluid from the middle ear. Sometimes the surgeon inserts a small tube in the middle of the ear to maintain drainage.

This surgery for otitis media is most often performed on children, but is sometimes performed on adults.

Otologic Laser Procedures

Using lasers with micro-millimeter spot size and accuracy, surgeons can perform extremely delicate ear procedures — minimizing trauma to the inner ear, compared to other surgical techniques.

Osseointegrated Bone Conduction Hearing System

This procedure surgically places a bone anchored hearing aid (baha) to the skull to transmit sound through the bone to the inner ear. This implant allows sound to bypass the external auditory canal and middle ear.

Particle Repositioning Maneuver

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused by minute calcium crystals floating freely in the inner ear.

This therapeutic maneuver redirects the particles back in the part of the inner ear where they belong.


Surgeons use this procedure to treat otosclerosis, in which they remove the stapes bone and replace it with a prosthesis.​

Hearing may improve right away, however, some bleeding behind the eardrum may keep hearing reduced. You should notice significant improvement in hearing within 10 to 14 days after surgery.


Surgery on the eardrum and/or middle ear bones to restore the middle ear hearing mechanism.