What are the possible complications of cerumen impaction removal?

Updated: May 09, 2018
  • Author: F Carl van Wyk, MB, ChB, MRCS, FRCS(Edin); Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Most patients tolerate the procedure very well with no analgesia. A minority of patients experience a mild amount of discomfort or even pain.

Some patients experience short-term vertigo.

Because of the noise generated by the suction tip, tinnitus may be worsened in some patients. Suction should be limited or avoided in patients with symptomatic tinnitus.

Hard cerumen, probes, specula, and suction devices may all cause lacerations to the ear canal skin. Minor bleeding and discomfort may result.

Using a large-bore suction device close to the tympanic membrane may cause trauma to the tympanic membrane, including a perforation. Such trauma usually heals spontaneously over the following weeks.

Inadvertent force to the ossicular chain may lead to conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.

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