This is a complex procedure to remove disease from within the small space of the middle ear

The aim is

  • To remove the disease
  • To restore and preserve the eardrum and ear canal
    • This helps to keep the ear dry and free from infection
    • It should allow swimming etc
  • To restore and preserve the small bones in the ear that conduct sound
    • This can preserve or even improve the hearing


  • Usually the disease is an non malignant but erosive collection of skin called cholesteatoma.
  • In children there is a high rate of recurrence
  • This often means multiple surgeries


  • If all the hearing bones are damaged the chance of a succesful hearing reconstruction is reduced
  • It may not be possible to get a water-tight ear drum and canal so infections with discharge can occur
  • During the surgery disease may need to be cleaned fron an exposed facial nerve leading to some facial weakness which is usually temporary. The nerve is monitored during the surgery
  • Other risks include alteration in taste, tinnitus and dizziness.