Ear Canal Exostoses and Ear Canal Stenosis

What are ear canal exostoses and ear canal stenosis?

Ear canal exostoses are bony growths in the ear canal. Swimming in cold water often causes them.

Ear canal stenosis can be caused by repeated ear canal infections that cause scarring. Some children are born with stenosis.

Children with exostoses or stenosis often have many ear canal infections.

Treatment for ear canal exostoses and ear canal stenosis

The Children’s Hearing Center team will carefully examine your child’s ear canal and eardrum with a microscope. If surgery is considered, your child will undergo a computed tomography (CT) scan. This will tell us how narrow the ear canal is and will help us track the facial nerve during surgery. The name of the surgical procedure to treat these conditions is called a repair of an acquired stenosis.

Surgery is performed in the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Ford Family Surgery Center. Learn more about the operating rooms and how to help prepare your child for surgery.

After treatment

Your child will be able to return to normal activities one to two months after surgery. Earplugs may be needed while bathing or swimming.