I am working for an ENT who specializes in ears(otology). The study is comparing hearing results after different surgical procedures for correcting otosclerosis(fixation of the stapes footplate), stapedotomy/stapedectomy vs. a procedure where no prosthesis is used. In the above mentioned operations, the footplate of the stapes is either removed or a hole within the footplate is created with a laser. A prosthesis is then hooked over the incus and placed into contact with the oval window of the cochlea. In the operation w/o a prosthesis, the focus of the otosclerosis is vaporized with the laser and the stapes becomes mobile, thus hearing is restored. The cool part about these operations is that they are done through the tympanic membrane(ear drum).