Surgical alteration of the bony ear canal is called canalplasty. The surgery is normally performed as an outpatient, usually under general anesthesia


Purpose of Surgery: 
Canalplasty can become necessary when the ear canal becomes infected frequently or diminished hearing because of an anatomic problem in the ear such as ear canal cholesteatoma (accumulation of debris in a bone pocket), exostoses/osteomas (bonygrowths from cold water swimming or in reaction to infection), for limited types of tumors, for fitting of some specialized forms of hearing aids, or for other anatomic reasons.


Alternatives to canalplasty
Most problems with the ear canal can be managed with conservative methods including topical solutions, ear drops, eye drops for use in the ear, application of creams and use of irrigation solutions. If hearing loss is an issue, hearing aid may be an option.


General risks of canalplasty:
Infection after surgery may occur in 1-3% percent of operative ears. Things that make infection more likely are getting water in the ear, nose blowing, and getting a cold or flu. Rarely, infection may spread into the cartilage of the ear and result in loss of major portions of the ear cartilage and outer ear deformity and shrinkage. Hypertrophic scarring and other healing problems can occur making additional surgery advisable. After ear surgery, taste for sweet, sour, salt, and bitter flavors may be abnormal on the same side of the tongue as the surgery.  In the vast majority of patients the taste complaints resolve or become tolerable.  Mild dizziness is common after surgery and usually improves within a few days to a few weeks. Persistent dizziness that is bothersome is rare. Ringing in the ear is sometimes a noticeable nuisance after surgery. Further hearing impairment in the operated ear may occur and the ear may not benefit from a hearing aid. A rare side effect of ear surgery is deafness in the operated ear. Other potential risks of the surgery involve damage to the ear drum and/or ossicles leading to hearing loss, in which case further surgery may be necessary.  Weakness or paralysis of the nerve that makes the face to smile is a rare side effect of ear surgery. The face recovers to normal or nearly normal in almost all cases, but, in some, facial movement may be permanently impaired. In rare cases, facial paralysis may require additional surgery. Canal narrowing may not be completely resolved, or excessive scarring may cause restenosis of the ear canal.


Before Surgery:
Avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, Vioxx, or similar non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication for at least five days before surgery.


After surgery, restrictions include:
Do not use aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, Vioxx, or similar non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication for two weeks after surgery. These and other arthritis medications may cause bleeding.

Water in the operated ear is to be strictly avoided. Use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) coated cotton to plug the ear

for bathing until the doctor tells you the ear is ready for water exposure.




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