Being told that you need surgery is a worrying time for all of us. We have prepared some links that may help you ask the right questions during your consultation.

The NHS website has a page specifically about seeing your specialist. John Hopkins Medicine is a USA based website and so the questions about finance would only be relevant if you are using private medical insurance in the UK, however the website gives a good description of what general questions to ask.

Cholesteatoma Specific Questions

We have also prepared some specific questions relating to cholesteatoma you might like to ask:

  • How many patients do you have with cholesteatoma?
  • How many times have you performed this operation, and what are your outcomes?
  • How many times do you perform canal wall up before you perform canal wall down?
  • Do you have the KTP laser, and are you comfortable/experienced in using it?
  • What can you tell from the CT or MRI, or from the surgery to diagnose the choleateatoma? Is there damage to the hearing bones, damage to the balance organ that can affect dizziness, closeness to the facial nerve, damage to the skull bone?
  • Do you perform a ‘second look’ surgery or use a DWI MRI scan?
  • How quickly do I need to have the surgery?
  • Do you enter the ear via the ear canal or behind the ear?
  • Do you use staples or stitches to seal the entry point?
  • Do you use dissolvable packing or removable packing (or no packing) for the surgery – and what are the side effects/benefits of this?
  • Do I need to shave my hair before surgery?
  • How soon following surgery should I have a hearing test?
  • How quickly can I swim or fly following the procedure?

Choosing an ENT Consultant

In the UK – in England only – you have the right to ask to have treatment from a particular consultant anywhere in England. For areas outside England in the United Kingdom you may wish to discuss this option with your GP and see if they can help you if you wish to change consultant.

Wherever you are in the UK you can also ask for a second opinion although this may delay treatment.

The NHS website has details of how choice works in England.

If you live elsewhere in the world, please send in details of how you can find an ENT consultant in your country and the information will be uploaded.