What to expect
Exostoses are removed under general anaesthetic, either as day surgery or an overnight stay in hospital. There will be an incision behind the ear and after surgery there is a bandage on the head to provide pressure which is removed the next morning. There is also packing in the ear canal which is removed in the rooms after 2-3 weeks and the hearing will be poor until then. The healing process usually takes about 6 weeks and the ear needs to be kept dry until it is fully healed.
What are the risks?
Delayed healing – usually the healing process takes about 6 weeks, but there is a risk it can take up to 3 months, and the ear needs to be kept dry until this is complete.
Ear drum perforation or damage to the ossicles (hearing bones) resulting in hearing loss, and possibly needing further surgery.
Tinnitus (ringing in the ear), inner ear hearing loss or vertigo which may be temporary or permanent.
Narrowing of the ear canal after surgery, possibly requiring further surgery.
Injury to the nerve which moves the face, which is very rare but can cause temporary or permanent paralysis of that side of the face.
Pain in the jaw (temporomandibular) joint.