Whew! Less than three hours later and Elijah is out of surgery! We just talked to Dr. L and for the first time ever, he told us, "Everything went great!" We've sort of gotten used to seeing the long face, followed by hard news. E's footplate appeared healthy and normal, which is a total miracle considering the state it was in a year ago. He was able to place a total ossicular replacement prosthesis and he hopes this will restore some/most of Elijah's hearing. There is a possibility that it won't, in which case they can try again to connect things (if they need to do this, they could do it through the ear canal which is good news since they've had to cut an incision behind the ear and go in that way the past 3 times). But hopefully we won't have to worry about that and hearing will be restored on some level.
He is in recovery right now and they are waiting for him to wake up. When he does, we'll get to go see him. Since Dr. L didn't need to mess with the inner ear at all, we are hoping for no nausea/dizziness this time. It's possible we could get home yet tonight, but we'll play it by ear. Ha!