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endoscopic ear surgery

Endoscopic Ear Surgery

Traditional ear surgery is performed under a microscope and often requires that the surgeon make a large incision behind the ear to access the complex system of tiny structures within the ear.

With specially designed instruments and latest generation surgical endoscopes, otologists at Mass. Eye and Ear are now able to perform ear surgeries on appropriate adult and pediatric patients endoscopically through the ear canal. This advanced technique allows the surgeon better visualization and navigation of this complex area during surgery. It may also result in a less painful recovery period.

How does it work?

The surgeon places a small scope with a camera on the end into the ear canal. He or she then uses tiny, specially designed instruments to perform the surgery. Some cases can be performed entirely through this method. Other cases may require that the surgeon open up the ear through the traditional surgical approach but may still allow for better visualization and removal of disease than with traditional instrumentation.

Two major advantages of the endoscopic approach are increased mobility and better visualization of the middle ear space. The surgeon is able to get the instruments past the eardrum and into the middle ear space more easily and can usually see the area better using this approach than with a microscope.
Click here for a comparison of the surgeon's view of the middle ear through a microscope vs. endoscope.


As with any ear surgery, recovery may take from one to four days. Common symptoms are pain, nausea, and dizziness. It is common to have some drainage from the ear that should gradually decrease over several days. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on the need for eardrops, keeping the ear dry, and activity limitations.

Pediatric and adult patients suffering from cholesteatoma, eardrum perforation or chronic ear disease may be candidates for endoscopic ear surgery.