Ear & Hearing
A cholesteatoma is a non-cancerous growth that develops in the middle ear (behind the ear drum) and which may erode into the mastoid air cells (a complex system of air cells connected with the middle ear). There may not be any symptoms in the early stages. However, as it increases in size, it can erode the ear drum and other structures in and around the middle ear. This can lead to hearing loss, chronic ear discharge and more serious complications e.g. meningitis. Treatment of cholesteatoma involves surgery to remove the cholesteatoma and the diseased mastoid air cells. In most cases, the middle ear is preserved and its structures can be reconstructed to optimise hearing function.