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 on: November 22, 2013, 10:41:18 AM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Marie
          thanks for writing. How could they miss a ctoma when they did surgery and removed a piece of plastic? what was this piece of plastic from and how did it get there? where at in the ear was this piece of plastic? Does anyone in your family have cholesteatomas? What other symptoms did you have in the ear with it? Did you ever have any fluid build up?   Who told you that your retracted eardrum was nothing to worry about was it an ent or general practitioner? What led up to you having mastoid surgery over thirty years ago?  How old were you? Do you think that is what caused the ctoma?  Did an ent ever look in your ear with a microscope? Was the ctoma visible that way or was it so far back that it couldn't be seen with a microscope? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to understand everything I can and put it together and connect it. Did you ever have a feeling of fullness in the ear? Were you ever told that you have eustachian tube dysfunction? I'm looking for any similarities in our conditions. I hope your surgery was successful. Was it canal wall up or down? Can you get your ears wet?

 on: November 19, 2013, 06:29:04 PM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Debs
Hi Marie

I have had ear problems all of my life and had a tympanoplasty and mastoid surgery in my right ear 33 years ago.  I always had my ears microsuctioned, then 9 years ago I started having pain in my right ear.  I was told I had a retracted eardrum but it was nothing to worry about, eventually I had exploratory surgery and they removed a piece of plastic (remanents from first surgery).  I still got the pain but was discharged.  I then had to have my ears syringed at my surgery, I also resorted to using ear candles.  The pain got worse - in my eardrum, behind my ear and up the side of my head and eye.  I got a referral to an ENT surgeon, had a CT scan and was told there was nothing wrong and that I didn't get pain in my ear!
Discharged again, another year went by with pain getting worse and clear discharge at night.  I went to a private microsuction clinic, the Dr there said I needed another referral and to be insistent as he thought I needed a T tube put in.  Saw another Dr, had a hearing test and found I was hard of hearing, but in my left ear, he looked at my scan and said I had a perforation in my left ear but my right ear was fine.  Had the surgery 3 weeks ago, it took 3 hours as he found a large Cholesteatoma and he had to remove my hearing bones, got to have more surgery and reconstruction in a year.  The Dr was shocked as it had not shown up on the CT scan, however he is now concerned about my right ear and I'm waiting for an MRI which will show him if he's managed to get all of the C-toma out and also if I do have one in my right ear (I suspect I have).  Be insistent and ask to see a surgeon who specialises in this.  Just to say if you do end up having surgery, don't worry.  In the right hands you will be fine, it's really not painful - my main problem is tinnitus which I hope the Dr will tell me is normal and hopefully will go away!
Good luck

 on: November 18, 2013, 06:31:20 PM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Marie
Dr. Castellon looked in my ear with a microscope. He is a board certified otolaryngologist or ent. Could he have missed it? Can a c-toma be back so far in the ear that it cannot be seen with a microscope? I read about someone getting a diagnosis with a camera in the ear. Would that be easier for an ent to see one with a camera instead of a microscope? I don't have the money to go to different doctors and ask all these questions. I want to get all my information and then start calling around to find an otologist or ent with the right type of tools or equipment to view the ear properly. Is there a way that they can see into the middle ear? Why don't they have a tiny ultrasound device that an ent could easily insert into your ear and put it on your eardrum and be able to see the middle ear on a screen like an ultrasound. I don't know if something like this exists as I just thought it up right now. If it doesn't it should though. What other symptoms did you have? How long did this go on for before you got diagnosed? Can you have a retracted eardrum and not have a c-toma? I guess you were watching for it closely when it came back. What is the reaccurance rate anyway? 60% or something like that. Have you had a ct scan and did it show anything? Believe it or not it was my idea to get the ct and I asked my ent if he would order it and he did. How dizzy did you get and how bad was the pressure? Could you feel your eardrum being sucked in?

 on: November 18, 2013, 04:03:25 PM 
Started by Marie - Last post by steve
Hi Marie,
When I first started getting symptoms of cholesteatoma I saw endless doctor's.  One thing I also remember of the early symptoms was my saliva gland in my neck swelled up below the ear.  The GP's I saw had no idea, one even thought I had mumps!  They are only 'General Practitioner's' as their name suggests, they are not used to seeing people with this condition.  Even when I initially admitted myself to hospital the ENT doctors there thought I had an ear infection and actually discharged me after a few days.  It was only when I got bad vertigo and my wife called an ambulance I saw a specialist who knew his stuff.  I remember him telling his staff to line up and look down a microscope at my ear so they could see what was wrong with me (a bit of a telling off for them).  It sounds wrong that you have to pay so much money where you are if you are ill.  Although our NHS can vary alot around the UK we are very fortunate that we don't have to pay to see a specialist.  One thing I had which sounds similar to what you are experiencing is that I knew something wasn't right because of the time it was going on.  A cold or ear infection would clear up in weeks, not months.  I spoke to friends and work colleagues and the best advice I got was to pester the health services endlessly until they got it right.  I hope you manage to find a good ENT consultant that can help, keep nagging them and take care!

 on: November 17, 2013, 07:50:03 PM 
Started by old-dusty-moon - Last post by Marie
Can someone please give me some information about ct scans showing cholesteatoma. I would like to hear from anyone that has been thru that. I have symptoms of c-toma but a ct scan doesn't show anything. My ent hasn't seen anything. Has anyone had a c-toma that was not visible with a microscope when they looked in your ear? How  often are cholesteatomas down farther in the the ear and cannot be seen? Am I worrying for nothing? Even if I have symptoms? What about mri's? Is there some other test or some other way an ear doctor can view the middle ear to make sure nothing is there? I've searched on the web and have not been able to contact anyone about this issue. Please give me some advice as to what to do next and what to ask my ent.

 on: November 15, 2013, 09:09:46 PM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Marie
I found out that my eardrum is slightly retracted. What should I do? A c-toma has not been found yet but I am very scared that I could have one that isn't visible or get one in the future do to the eardrum. I  had a ct scan that supposedly doesn't show anything. Can I rely on this as fact that there isn't one there? What can I do about my eardrum retracting to try and prevent a c-toma since I know that this is one of the causes? Please someone who has been thru this let me know what I can do. I am scared to death and I am so depressed. Please help me.

 on: November 15, 2013, 07:28:56 AM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Marie
I was reading somewhere online about a fairly new way of removing cholesteatoma where you can get your ear wet. Someone was telling the story about their son having this type of operation and they were glad  they opted for this. Can someone please tell me about this. I wish I could find it again and remember more. I need the information as I'm suspicious that I have a c-toma. I've had a ct scan that showed nothing but I just read a story about someone who had a ct that showed nothing as well. Is there anyone out there that can tell me how to go about getting a diagnosis or ruling this out? I have all the symptoms.

 on: November 14, 2013, 09:13:40 PM 
Started by Marie - Last post by Marie
Hi Steve,
             My ent told me there was nothing that he could do for me and referred me to some doctor that I can't see as I have no insurance and the first office visit is over $500. I am not joking about the amount. For one office visit. I have all of the symptoms of cholesteatoma except the drainage. It started for me with a sinus infection when about 8 days later I had an ear infection which I got antibiotics for right away. After taking those my ear wasn't right and I went to clinic and they said I had fluid in the ear. Went to an ent then he told me for two months to use flonase which didn't help any. Went to another ent who drained the fluid from my ear a couple months ago. My ear hasn't been the same since the infection. I have decreased hearing, I feel a vibration with air when I speak and I have pressure, pain, and popping. Also off balance and dizziness. The ent that doesn't want to see me anymore says eustachian tube dysfunction. Is it really? Why would I have this all of a sudden? I'm wondering why my ear wouldn't drain from the infection. Makes me wonder if something in there preventing it from. I am still having these symptoms and am scheduled to get a tube in the ear in a few hours. I am really scared about all of this. I have no one to talk to that will listen or understand. Would a tube help to prevent a cholesteatoma if I don't have one? Doesn't eustachian tube dysfunction cause one to have this?

 on: November 14, 2013, 08:29:52 AM 
Started by Wayne2011 - Last post by Lillian
Hello,I had my surgery in the same hospital in Shanghai.

 on: November 06, 2013, 07:20:27 AM 
Started by Marie - Last post by steve
Hi Marie,
Cholesteatomas can take years to form.  They usually form when there is a vacuum behind the ear drum which pulls it back and causes a sack to form at the top on the other side.  After I had my first one removed (age 30) and my ear drum rebuilt - my specialist could gradually see my ear drum being sucked back (over years) by looking down my ear canal.  It took nearly 10 years for a second one to form.  He did think at one time about putting a grommet (hole) to prevent a vacuum but that never seemed to happen.
My original symptoms when I first had one were 1. loss of hearing (no pain) for about 1 month, 2. then stabbing pain (lasted about a week), 3. constant aching pain (like toothache), 4. then increasing dizziness (felt like I'd been drinking).  When the dizziness became so bad I admitted myself to hospital and a CT scan showed the cholesteatoma.  I've known people that have had similar symptoms but over several years rather than months.
My hospital didn't use an MRI originally as it couldn't see something as small as a newly formed Cholesteatoma.  It has recently just upgraded its MRI so it can now see one.
Another symptom is you tend to get big smelly ear discharges if one's formed.
As the cholesteatoma forms on the other side of the ear drum the specialist may not be able to see it by looking down the ear canal.  In my case it did make a small hole at the top of my ear drum which was spotted by my specialist.
I'm sure you will be okay - the main thing is that you are being monitored by your specialist.
Take care! - Steve (UK).

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