If identified early, soft tissue stenosis may be treated medically. Cases that may respond to medical therapy may include, but are not limited to, the early stages after surgery or radiation. Many options are available for medical management and would be based on each individual case. One option would include periodic dilatation of the external canal by placement of expandable ear wicks. Antibiotic-steroid otic drops are used and the ear is repacked every 4 to 10 days for 6 to 8 weeks. Local injections of Kenalog or Decadron should be used if there is little to no response to the dilatation technique within the first 4 weeks. For less severe cases, another option for treatment would include the use of steroid cream or drops on a daily basis for several weeks. If the ear canal opens with either of these techniques, periodic cleaning and frequent irrigations with acetic acid -alcohol solutions help to maintain patency. Patients who do not respond to these treatments are candidates for surgery.
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