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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

How simple is this operation?

10/07/2009

Question:

I had an ear infection about a year ago in my ear canal. When the infection cleared it was discovered that the infection had eaten through the bottom of my ear canal and had attached itself to my jaw bone. I had surgery to have it removed about 6 months ago, and the biopsy result was “Infected bone & tissue” But now I have been back to the ENT consultant, as my ear felt blocked. He has said the canal is open, but now after a 2nd scan I have been told that the bone underneath the canal is now dead or dying and now I need surgery to remove the bone and replace it with a bone from a pig. My ENT consultant has now referred me to a facial surgeon, and has said that this is the only the 2nd case of this type of ear problem that he has heard of.

My question is: Is this condition as rare as he says? and how simple an operation is this?

Hope you can help.

Answer:

Yes, it is quite uncommon, and potentially quite a complex procedure.  I suggest you obtain a second opinion to make certain you are on the right track.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati