Following the lifting of restrictions by the Government, we would like to reassure all our patients that the way we interact with you will not be changing. All staff and consultants will continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and we require our patients and visitors to do the same, so that we are all protected.

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Surgery for cholesteatoma

Surgery for cholesteatoma is an operation to remove abnormal skin growth behind your eardrum in the middle ear that is called a cholesteatoma. It is performed to prevent discharge from your ear, hearing loss and other possible complications.

What is a 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.

How long does cholesteatoma surgery take?

Cholesteatoma surgery usually takes two to three hours, depending on how far the cholesteatoma has spread and the extent of repair required after its removal.

What is the recovery process after surgery for cholesteatoma?

Most patients stay in the hospital overnight.

You should plan to take a week or so off work.

It is important to keep the affected ear dry. You can wash your hair after a week but you should make sure you do not get water inside the ear. You can plug your ear with Vaseline-coated cotton wool to prevent water from getting in.

A follow-up appointment will be arranged for you to evaluate the results and ensure the cholesteatoma has not come back.

It is recommended that you avoid swimming, flying and doing strenuous sports and activities until your follow up appointment. Your surgeon will confirm if it is safe to return to your usual activities.

What is the cost of surgery for cholesteatoma procedure?

The cost of this procedure will depend on the exact type of operation you require and your Ramsay hospital of choice. .

You will receive a formal quotation price for your surgery, after your consultation with one of our expert ENT surgeons and following any required tests, that is valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare. .

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. A cholesteatoma procedure is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your procedure.

We offer a number of finance options to pay for your surgery, including: All-inclusive Total Care where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price delivers direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance, pay as you go and, medical finance loans.

Surgery for Cholesteatoma at Ramsay Health Care UK

Ramsay Health Care UK’s specialist ENT surgeons offer an expert assessment of your symptoms and medical history and an examination of the inside of your ear using an otoscope. Your consultation with one of our experts and any surgery are performed without waiting. .

Your Ramsay ENT surgeon will be able to safely remove your cholesteatoma cyst using the appropriate surgery and repair any parts of your ear that need it. They will discuss this fully with you beforehand at your consultation. .

Patient and staff safety is our primary concern. All Ramsay hospitals follow strict protocols to prevent infection, including Covid 19.

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