Treating a cholesteatoma

To confirmthat you have acholesteatoma, an ENT surgeon will re-examine your ear and may carry out some hearing tests.You may also have a computerised tomography (CT) scan to see which parts of your ear are affected.


In most cases, a cholesteatomawill be removed during an operation performed under general anaesthetic .

The surgeongenerally makes a cut either behind or just in front and above your ear. As well as removing the dead skin cells, they may also need to remove some of the sponge-like mastoid bone (part of the skull behind your ear) and repair any holein your eardrum.

When the operation is complete, you ear may be packed with a dressing that will need to be removed a few weeks later. You will be advised about how to look after it in the meantime.

The risks of surgery are similar to those of leaving the cholesteatoma untreated, such ashearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo,but generally thebenefits of removing the cholesteatoma far outweigh the risks. You should discuss the risks with your surgeon.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018