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ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2003 Jul-Aug;65(4):189-92.

Surgery for external auditory canal exostoses: a report of 182 operations.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.


The pre-operative findings and operative outcome were evaluated from patient records in 136 patients (182 ears) who had surgery for external auditory canal (EAC) exostoses. Furthermore, 114 patients (84%) replied to a questionnaire inquiring about the symptoms and the operation's impact on their quality of life. The main symptoms prior to the surgery were recurrent external otitis, hearing loss and wax retention. Interestingly, 23 patients (21%) were operated without any symptoms. After the operation, 75 patients (66%) had relief of their symptoms. In 33 patients (29%) the symptoms remained the same, and in 5 patients (4%) they became worse. The quality of life improved in 77 patients (68%); 19 patients (14%) had a complication due to the surgery, and 8 patients (6%) needed a re-operation. The surgery for EAC exostoses should be reserved only for symptomatic cases and only for experienced specialists in order to minimize complications and unnecessary operations.

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