Cholesteatoma: Liam's Story

Liam Kren with Dr. Chien

When Liam Kren, 8, failed his hearing test at his eight-year checkup his parents were only mildly concerned. However, after consulting several otolaryngologists, they learned Liam was experiencing 75 percent hearing loss. The cause of his hearing loss turned out to be a cholesteatoma, a abnormal skin growth in the middle ear. If left untreated, this condition could lead to further hearing loss, infection or facial paralysis.

The only treatment option was surgery, but many doctors either didn't want to conduct the surgery because of Liam's young age, or suggested several operations. The Krens were delighted to find neuro-otologist Wade Chien, M.D., who specializes in complex ear procedures. "It was important for us to feel extremely comfortable with a surgeon before we subjected Liam to such a delicate procedure," said Carrie Kren, Liam's mother. "We appreciated the way Dr. Chien explained everything on a level that even Liam understood...coupled with his experience and excellent outcomes, we knew our son was in good hands."

Meet Liam's Neuro-otologist

Johns Hopkins Otology and Neurotology

The Johns Hopkins Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery team is dedicated to diagnosing and treating superior canal dehiscence, acoustic neuromas, and other conditions of the skull base.