Last week we saw this giddy patient for TECA surgery.
A TECA or Total Ear Canal Ablation is a procedure undertaken to manage severe middle ear or ear canal disease and to treat ear canal cancers. It is used when all other options, such as topical medications, have failed. The TECA procedure is the removal of the ear canal in dogs and is nearly always combined with a Bulla Osteotomy. The Bulla Osteotomy part of the procedure involves opening and clearing the middle ear of all infected material. Combining these procedures greatly reduces the chance of recurrence of ear infections in the future therefore giving your animal a better quality of life.
A TECA is performed as a last resort treatment in cases of chronic ear infection where topical medications such as ear drops have stopped working. Chronic ear infections cause swelling of the ear canal tissue which can cause discomfort to the animal. This in turn can make it even harder for topical treatments to be administered as the ear canal can swell nearly shut. A TECA is advised to remove the tissue that is causing the problem and alleviate the discomfort caused. In cases where ear canal tumours are present a TECA is the treatment advised as it can fully remove the affected tissue.
The TECA procedure is the removal of the ear canal so once the incision site has healed and your pets fur grows back it is quite difficult to tell that the surgery has been performed. The only difference in your pets appearance will be the opening to the ear will no longer be present as it has been removed along with the ear canal.The organ used by the animal to allow it to hear is not affected during the TECA surgery as it is only the ear canal that is removed. Due to this hearing sensitivity may be reduced but in most cases the inflammation in the ear will have been causing decreased hearing sensitivity already therefore there is usually no change noticed post-operatively.
In most cases animals recover quickly following the TECA procedure. We advise two weeks rest and lead exercise post operatively. To allow the incision sites to heal quickly we will send your pet home with a buster collar which must be worn to prevent interference with the surgical site. Once healed your pet can return to normal activities quite quickly and in most cases will seem happier as the discomfort from their ears has been eliminated.
The TECA surgery is performed in an area surrounded by important structures including blood vessels and nerves and should therefore be performed by an experienced surgeon who is familiar with the procedure to minimise any potential complications.