Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kade's Ear Mystery

Kade woke up in the morning (on Jan. 26,2011) and was bleeding out of his ear. Not only was the entire right side of his covered in blood, but his right ear had a solid plug of blood in it. I took him to his Doctor and they said we have to get to an ENT today because he may have a tumor. They need better instruments to see better, but they saw something growing in his ear that shouldn't be. They were going to get us in the same day if possible with an ENT. She called immediately as I was checking out. I later received a phone call from her with the earliest appointment being first thing in the morning. (It was the longest night of my life, wondering if my baby had a tumor.) We woke up and went directly to Dr. Gonzalez, who was amazing! He looked in Kade's ear... Great news. NO TUMOR! He said there was lots of granulated tissue & blood. He gave us drops to clear out his ear & in 2 weeks we go back to see his ear drum, & see if he needs tubes again, or another kind of surgery. When he heard our Doctor even mentioned a tumor he was annoyed. 24 hours of severe anxiety for little reason. I will take tubes or some other ear surgery over tumors any day!
Here are some pictures below, the first is a normal ear, and the rest are like Kade's.
Above: Normally the ear tube sits in the eardrum, held in place with an inner and outer phalange.

Above 2 Pictures:The inner layer of the eardrum heals behind the ear tube and begins to push it out. This causes the tube to plug while it is still in the eardrum.

Above: In cases of "granuloma" formation the inner layer of the eardrum will sometimes grow out through the tube's lumen and a mass of blood vessel forms over the tube. This mass of blood vessels forms a ball which can fill the ear canal. It often bleeds and drains pus.

Above: In other cases of "granuloma" or granulation tissue formation, the granuloma may form next to the ear tube.

Above: Treatment: Treatment consists of steroid containing antibiotic ear drops and removal of the granuloma. Using ear drops alone will often melt the granuloma away over two to three weeks. However, the most effective way to resolve the infection is to remove the granuloma. Because there are no nerve endings in the granuloma it can almost always be removed in the office. It is only attached to the tube by a thin stock and often it can be removed by applying a small amount of suction. Bleeding is brisk but will stop after a cotton ball is placed in the ear canal.

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