Cholesteatoma Surgery| Diagnosis and Treatment


Cholesteatoma is a middle ear disease that does not pose complex symptoms It is a rare condition but needs to be cured quickly if occurs in the middle ear. It is an outgrowth of the middle ear skin which takes place for unknown reasons. If Cholesteatoma is left untreated it may cause permanent hearing loss of the ear.

With the persistence of this disease, the chances of infection also increase.  Middle ear surgery is itself a complex surgery to treat middle ear problems. There are no alternative options other than the dissection of the skin. Symptoms of this disease can’t be taken lightly.

What is Cholesteatoma?

It is internal tissue growth of the skin behind the ear drum and it may associated with severe infection in the middle ear.  There are two types of Cholesteatoma:

Congenital Cholesteatoma – This kind of disorder or disease is present by birth and we can say that external growth of skin in the middle ear is present by birth. It is diagnosed in early life or later when the child begins to respond to the environment.

Acquired Cholesteatoma – It is acquired during the life span of an individual it may result because of trauma to the ear. And diagnosed after the symptoms are noticed.

Causes of the Cholesteatoma:

Cholesteatoma is a rare infection but it may caused by mere carelessness. According to the doctors, the ear is one of the most delicate organs because of the eardrum. Some of the reasons are also related to physical damage that’s why doctors suggest cleaning ears by medical tenants. Below are some known causes of the Cholesteatoma:

  • Sometimes eustachian tube (connection of ear to mouth) causes negative pressure in the middle ear, And results in Cholesteatoma.
  • Accumulation of the bacteria, dead cells, and fungal debris, can cause Cholesteatoma.
  •  Frequently arriving ear infections can result in Cholesteatoma.

These are the three most prominent reasons for Cholesteatoma, sometimes the combined effect of the upper two conditions can also cause chronic middle ear infections which later develop as Cholesteatoma.

Symptoms of the Cholesteatoma:

Different symptoms are depending on the severity of Cholesteatoma. Sometimes they may be different in different individuals.

  1. Hearing loss – This may occur suddenly or slowly with increasing time and other symptoms.
  2. Bad smell – This is also a continuous foul small that can be felt by the nearby sitting person.  It may be a slow smell caused by poor drainage of fluid from a fungal ear infection.
  3. Pain – continuously persisting pain is the season for discomfort and it may be sharpened with time.
  4. Heavy Ear – This is a weird feeling of fullness in the ear and also feel uneasy in standing and sitting.
  5. Dizziness – The ear is also a balancing organ if the body and ear infection and Cholesteatoma will disturb the proper functioning of the ear it will cause imbalance and dizziness in the body.
  6. Tingling – It is an irritating ringing sound in the ear that may continue till it is not cured.

All of the above symptoms tell that it is very hard to stay with such symptoms. And a patient needs to call a doctor quickly.


Diagnosis of this disease includes the study of the medical history and other physical tests. An otoscope is a device that is used to see the internal side of the ear and it can show many of the symptoms. MRI is also used for detecting problems in the middle section of the ear. Sometimes Cholesteatoma also impacts surrounding structures and it can be seen in the CT scans and the MRI.

Treatment of the Cholesteatoma:

Antibiotics – There are some antibiotics and drops for the ear which is prescribed by doctors before and after the surgery.

Surgical removal of tissue – It is the primary treatment for Cholesteatoma without surgery there are no other options. The procedure of surgical removal is known as Mastoidectomy and under this surgery, any tissue outgrowth in the middle ear is dissected and completely removed.

Hearing Cure – There are many hearing aids one of which is provided to patients after surgery. They may be permanent or for a little time.

After surgery care – There are many complications and there is a need for a doctor after the surgery, also sometimes there are increased symptoms that need to be cured.

After surgery complications and Prognosis:

There are many complications of Cholesteatoma if it is left untreated, Some of them are fatal too:

  1. Infection may spread up to the internal ear and then into the brain.
  2. Some severe bacterial and fungal infections may cause face nerve damage which can not be cured.
  3. Permanent hearing Loss may occur if it persists for a long time.
  4. Vertigo and dizziness,  we may also called maintaining the equilibrium of the body impossible with an infected ear.
  5. Brain infections like meningitis and other systemic infections can also occur.

Prevention from Cholesteatoma:

It is a non-preventable disease but a choice for a healthy ear is a simple guide for the individuals.

  1. Don’t clean your ear by yourself.
  2. Maintain good hygiene and don’t insert any object in the ear like a pen or cotton buds.
  3. If there is pain and other symptoms quickly go to the doctor.
  4. In case of an ear infection don’t put homemade remedies or any other options in your ear.
  5. In case of congenital Cholesteatoma try to find out the reason by talking to the baby and going to the doctor.


Cholesteatoma is a chronic middle ear infection in which outgrowth of the middle ear tissue takes place. It requires timely treatment and diagnosis because it may turn into a fatal disease. As part of the treatment, there are medicines and surgical removal of the tissue.

There is also need for post-care surgery and patients need to be monitored by a doctor. If you have any such symptoms you can go to ENT specialist Dr. Simple Bhadania, she will guide you to the next step.