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Dr. RayA
Dr. RayA, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 223
Experience:  Medical Doctorate(MD), with post-Doctoral training in Internal Medicine
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I have a repeat cholestiatoma in my ear. My ear surgeon is

Resolved Question:

I have a repeat cholestiatoma in my ear. My ear surgeon is suggesting an ear canal wall down mastoidectomy. I want to know if this is the right decision for me, as this is a life-changing operation. Is it worth the pain and effort, and how effective is it?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. RayA replied 8 years ago.
Hi Madelaine,
Cholesteatomas can cause significant complications if left untreated, including facial paralysis, hearing loss, and serious infection. Despite these risks, recurrence is not uncommon, since there is always a chance cholesteatoma fragments left behind to regrow at a later time. In cases like this, it is common to come back several months later to remove any fragments which may have grown when they may be a favorable size for total excision.

The type of surgery you are talking about is usually reserved for situations in which the cholesteatoma is large and adherent to the inner ear or facial nerve, preventing the ENT from removing the entire cholesteatoma with a less aggressive treatment. Following this type of surgery, ongoing cleaning of the mastoid cavity every 3-6 months by an ENT is needed.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to adequately determine what level of treatment is needed in your situation on line, however, I do agree with you that this is a significant procedure, and a second opinion should always be sought before committing to this kind of treatment. Remember that treatment of a cholesteatoma is focused on prevention of complications, so it is important to get your second opinion as rapidly as possible, and to proceed with treatment.
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