Cholesteatomas are usually treated with surgery. This is done to remove the cyst-like mass and protect the ear from further damage. There are several types of surgeries for treating a cholesteatoma, including a tympanoplasty or a tympanomastoidectomy.
During a tympanoplasty, the cyst is removed and the eardrum is rebuilt. During a tympanomastoidectomy, your doctor will remove the cholesteatoma from the middle ear and from the bone behind the ear (mastoid).