TECA: Total Ear Canal Ablation & Bulla Osteotomy
Total Ear Canal Ablation & Bulla Osteotomy or TECA-BO for short is usually a procedure done for end stage inflammatory diseases such as infections, neoplasia (cancer), trauma, stenosis (narrowing)
or obstructive issues (ie. polyps of the ear canal). The procedure involves removal of the outer ear canal and tympanic bulla (a bone shaped cavity that can accumulate fluid and debris and abnormal tissue). Think of the ear canal as 'L' shaped with a ball the end (tympanic bulla). The surgical procedure is removing the 'L' portion (the canal) and making a hole in the ball at the end to facilitate draining and removal of abnormal tissue. The most common complication with this surgery is hearing loss, nerve damage ie. Horner's syndrome (more so in cats than dogs), and facial nerve damage, this is because the nerves that innervate the face cross the surface of the bony prominence of the ear. Great care is always taken during this procedure to minimize trauma to these structures and nerves but if the disease process is severe enough these complications may arise.