Stapedectomy has become recognized as the procedure of choice in the surgical treatment of clinical otosclerosis. Based on results obtained in stapes surgery performed in 1977, profiles were established for hearing improvement, vertigo, tinnitus, chorda tympani injury and temporary threshold shift of high tones. Tympanometric and stapedial muscle reflex tests in cases of proved clinical otosclerosis also are discussed. The profiles indicate that stapedectomy performed on a regular basis and under ideal conditions is highly successful for the improvement of hearing. The incidence and probable causes of complications are presented and discussed. This study reveals, however, that the number of new patients with otosclerosis has decreased steadily since its peak in 1964. Should the number of surgical cases continue to diminish, it may be impossible for the practicing otologist to maintain sufficient expertise for the performance of an occasional stapedectomy. Also, it may become impossible to provide sufficient experience in otosclerosis surgery for all trainees in otolaryngology.