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Laryngoscope. 1998 Feb;108(2):195-9.

Treatment of external auditory canal exostoses.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Orange, USA.


Exostoses of the external auditory canal can occur in patients living in coastal, southern California communities with a history of cold-water aquatic activities such as ocean surfing and swimming. Although most canal exostoses are asymptomatic, patients with canal obstruction greater than 80% can have recurrent episodes of external otitis and a related conductive hearing loss. In most cases, medical treatment resolves the symptomatic external otitis and related hearing loss. Patients recalcitrant to medical treatment are candidates for surgical removal of the exostoses. This report reviews the authors' surgical experience with 18 patients (27 ears) who have undergone surgical removal of exostoses. Their preferred surgical technique of transmeatal removal of exostoses with a specialized mallet and thin chisel under local anesthesia is described.

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