Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilatation
The eustachian tube links the middle ear to the back of the nose (known as the ‘post nasal space’). It allows ventilation to the middle ear so that air pressure is equalised in the middle ear and the outer ear or atmosphere. It is responsible for the fullness you feel when descending in an aircraft or ascending through water. A blockage in the eustachian tube can cause feelings of fullness and can contribute to hearing loss. Patients with a blockage of the eustachian tube may have experienced frequent ear infections, perforations or cholesteatoma.
Dr Chang is one of the few surgeons in Queensland to perform surgery using a small balloon which is inserted into the eustachian tube and inflated to enable the tube to be cleaned or widened. The balloon is removed at the completion of the procedure. It is important to note that this procedure is not suitable for all patients with eustachian tube dysfunction. For some conditions there is in fact a risk that it could result in a worse outcome. Therefore, Dr Chang will not recommend or carry out this procedure for all patients.
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and generally takes no longer than one hour. The patient can return home the same day.
Post operative care
Dr Chang recommends that patients will need only one to two days off work or school. Full recovery from surgery generally takes one to two weeks. Dr Chang will see patients for a post operative appointment about two weeks after surgery.