The inner ear itself can be surgically removed via labyrinthectomy although hearing is always completely lost in the affected ear with this operation.
In cases where there is significant hearing loss and continuing severe episodes of vertigo, a chemical labyrinthectomy, in which a drug ( such as gentamicin ) that " kills " parts or most of the vestibular apparatus is injected into the middle ear.
Neurotologic surgery generally refers to surgery of the inner ear or surgery that involves entering the inner ear with risk to the hearing and balance organs, including labyrinthectomy, cochlear implant surgery, and surgery for tumors of the temporal bone, such as intracanlicular acoustic neuromas.
Neurotology encompasses more complex surgery of the inner ear not typically performed by general otolaryngologists, such as removal of complex cholesteatoma, labyrinthectomy, surgery of the endolymphatic sac for meniere's disease and cochlear implant surgery, because of the additional risk of hearing loss, vertigo, and facial nerve paralysis.
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