This operation is carried out to remove a cholesteatoma, which is a deep-seated infection causing chronic discharge and hearing impairment. Untreated, this condition can even cause brain abscess, dizziness and facial palsy. The operation has three aims:
To remove the cholesteatoma.
To create a dry ear, which does not discharge.
To preserve, or if possible, improve the hearing.
This operation is carried out under general anaesthetic and you should not have anything to eat or drink for six hours prior to surgery.
Following the operation you may have some watery discharge mixed with thin blood from the ear, which can persist for up to two weeks. There is usually a cotton wool dressing in the ear and this can be changed for a fresh one if it becomes damp.
Mr Camilleri usually glues the skin incision, so no stitches need to be removed.
The ear may feel blocked for a few weeks and this will be due to the dressing and any fluid, which has collected in the middle ear. The graft can take up to three months to heal.
Mastoid cavities take a long time to settle down and occasionally need cleaning on an intermittent basis. Most cavities however are self-cleaning as the most modern techniques aim to reduce the size of the cavity.
Swimming can only be resumed once the graft has healed. Mr Camilleri will advise when it is safe to do so.
Aircraft travel should be avoided for at least two weeks after the operation. Occasionally aircraft travel needs to be avoided for four weeks.
Painkillers are required following the operation. You should use painkillers that you are familiar with.
One to two weeks should be taken off work.
You will be followed up in the outpatient clinic.
Please contact your Suite at the Alexandra Hospital on 0161 428 3656 if you have any questions or concerns.