Can Cholesteatomas Turn Cancerous?
Cholesteatomas, also known as benign ear cyst, are growths or lumps in the ear that are filled with fluid, air, and sometimes skin cells inside the ear. The tumor typically emerges in the middle ear behind the eardrum. Cholesteatomas are not cancerous; however, they can lead to other complications such as hearing loss if they remain untreated. For treatment, an ENT doctor for cholesteatoma Los Angeles, will have to remove the cyst through a surgery.
What causes cholesteatomas?
Cholesteatomas can be as a result of various reasons:
- An ear infection or injury in combination with a poorly functioning Eustachian tube. The pressure within the middle ear can suck in the eardrum and form a pocket if the Eustachian tube does not work correctly. Old skin cells, fluids, and other waste materials can collect inside the pocket and form a cholesteatoma.
- It can form during child development when a part of the ear lining gets trapped inside the bone as it grows. In rare cases, a congenital form of cholesteatoma can be present at birth in the middle ear or elsewhere.
What are the signs and symptoms of cholesteatoma?
Cholesteatomas usually cause symptoms in one ear. The signs include:
- Ear infection
- Trouble hearing in one ear
- Ear infection
- Dizziness (or vertigo)
- Weakness in half your face
- A constant sound inside your ear (tinnitus)
- A fluid that smells bad and leaks from your ears
What happens if cholesteatomas remain untreated?
Just like in cancer, the cholesteatoma can spread and infect other parts behind the ear. If not removed, the cyst can eat its way into the brain and facial nerve, causing brain abscess, meningitis, and facial paralysis. Permanent hearing loss can occur when the bones within the ear are broken. Infection in the mastoid bone can also cause mastoiditis. Cholesteatoma surgery Los Angeles, is considered to be the only way to remove a benign ear cyst.
How is cholesteatoma diagnosed?
According to abnormal ear growth doctor Los Angeles, some tests need to be performed after a complete history and physical examination to diagnose and plan for cholesteatomas treatment. The hearing test involves a tympanogram and audiogram. A CT scan of the temporal bone is also necessary.
How is cholesteatoma treated?
There are no medications that can make cholesteatoma disappear. As such, they are usually removed surgically. A cholesteatoma surgery Los Angeles, will take 2 to 3 hours. As stated by ENT doctor for cholesteatoma Los Angeles, there are two ways to perform the surgery:
- Mastoidectomy: The mastoid bone is opened to remove the cyst.
- Tympanoplasty: A surgeon uses muscle or cartilage from another part of your ear to refill any hole in your eardrum.
The skin cyst that grows into the middle ear and mastoid leading to cholesteatoma is not cancerous but can erode ear tissues and lead to its damage. Complications are generally rare if the cyst is removed early enough. You can book an appointment with our ENT doctor Los Angeles, to diagnose and treat cholesteatomas.