Surgery for Chloesteatoma

What is surgery for cholesteatoma?

A surgery for cholesteatoma is the removal of an abnormal and noncancerous skin cell growth in your middle ear called a cholesteatoma. If left untreated a cholesteatoma will grow and can cause:

  • ear infection and smelly discharge from the ear
  • earing loss and balance problems due to damage of delicate structures inside your ear
  • tinnitus – ringing in your ear as sounds are heard from inside your body rather than outside
  • vertigo – a feeling that you or the world is spinning
  • facial nerve damage that can weaken half of your face
  • a brain abscess or meningitis - very rare when infection spreads into your inner ear and brain.

Cholesteatomas don’t go away naturally. They usually continue to grow and cause additional problems.

This surgery aims to stop the symptoms of a cholesteatoma as well as prevent and treat any rare but serious complications of the disease. It is very important to remove the disease completely, or it may grow back.

Your surgery will involve making a cut in front of or behind your ear, removing bone from around the cholesteatoma to see where it has spread to, and removing the cholesteatoma cyst. The type of surgery will depend on how and where your cyst has grown and the repair required for any damage it has done to your ear. To summarise these different surgeries:

  • Myringoplasty (type 1 tympanoplasty) – repairs your tympanic membrane (eardrum) only.
  • Tympanoplasty - repairs your tympanic membrane and other middle ear components.
  • Mastoidectomy – removes your mastoid bone.
  • Tympanomastoidectomy – repairs your tympanum and mastoid.
  • Ossiculoplasty - repairs or reconstructs your small bones of hearing called ossicles.

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