Mastoid ear

Risks of the surgery are the same as if the cholesteatoma is not removed, but occur less frequently.  Hearing loss and dizziness may occur along with injury to the lining or dura of the brain.  The VII Nerve runs through the center of the middle ear and mastoid cavity and can be injured during surgery.  This may cause a facial paralysis.  However, from the picture on the right, one can see how this nerve can be easily damaged by the cholesteatoma .  Thus, once diagnosed, most cholesteatoma should be surgically removed.  Kos et al. reported on the results for canal wall down mastoidectomies .  He found the average pre-operative hearing loss was 52 dB.  Post-operatively the hearing was unchanged in 41%, improved in 31% and worse in 28%.  Other complications were persistent vertigo and one case of facial paralysis.  View Abstract

A long standing cholesteatoma can erode through the dura and into the brain or into the inner ear.  The horizontal semicircular canal is the inner ear structure most prone to damage.  Below is a link to a CT Scan of a cholesteatoma which produced a fistula of the horizontal semicircular canal.  The patient had a chronic history of hearing loss and ear drainage.  He recently, experienced a severe episode of vertigo from labyrinthitis .  

Mastoid ear

mastoid ear


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