What is a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA)?
A total ear canal ablation is the recommended technique for management of tumours within the ear, extensive benign disease (including chronic infections), failed lateral ear resection, and extension of disease into the middle ear canal.
What does a TECA surgery involve?
The surgery involves removal of the cartilage of the ear canal to remove all diseased portions of the ear. The opening to the ear canal is then sutured closed to maintain normal appearance of the ear.
Will my dog be deaf after surgery?
Postoperative deafness is a common concern among owners pursuing this treatment for their animals. In the majority of patients presenting for this surgery, there is often already a significant reduction in hearing ability due to the disease process occurring, especially in animals that have both ears affected.
Many owners state that their dogs still have some hearing after surgery and will respond to high-pitched or very loud noises. This is due to sound being conducted through the bones of the skull and into the nerves in the middle ear.
What complications can occur?
The middle ear is located very close to many important nerves and vessels. While we always do our best to avoid damage to these it can occur. Haemorrhage is a possible complication of this surgery but can be managed and is rarely a major cause for concern. The facial nerve is located in this area and damage to this nerve can occur prior to or during this surgery.
Facial nerve function will be assessed before and after surgery. In dogs, facial nerve damage has been shown to be permanent in 4-13% of cases with nerve damage. Facial nerve deficits can be noted after surgery but is temporary in some cases.
Horner’s syndrome can result from damage to nerve fibres that run through the middle ear, the risk of this developing is higher in cats compared to dogs.
Other complications include draining sinus formation at the surgery site and wound breakdown or infection.
Will the problem recur?
It is not possible for the problem to recur. This surgery involves removal of the entire ear canal, and as such the problem cannot recur. If only one side is affected there is the potential for disease to occur in the other ear.