Contact us at (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273)



A cholesteatoma is a skin cyst behind the eardrum. Poor Eustachian tube function may be the cause. Over time, the cholesteatoma increases in size and destroys the delicate middle ear bones. It can also erode and destroy the bone in the mastoid air cells, extending to the inner ear, the facial nerve and even the brain.

Patients may experience intermittent or persistent drainage of cloudy fluid or foul-smelling pus from the ear, or hearing loss.

Our physicians check for a cholesteatoma by a careful examination of the ear and a hearing test. In some situations, a CT scan is indicated.

Management usually requires surgery.

Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.