Every otologic procedure carries the risk of damage to the inner ear. On the other hand, cholesteatoma and uncontrolled tubotympanic disease can lead to partial or total sensorineural loss, as well as intracranial complications. Our experience of the surgical management of eight patients with an only hearing ear is presented. There were no dead ears in this series and no significant worsening of inner ear function. The air conduction pure- tone average was worse in two patients without change in bone conduction. Of the eight patients, six wear a hearing aid with success and two patients manage without an aid. The present small series confirms that patients at risk of anacusis from cholesteatoma or chronic suppurative otitis media can be offered, in experienced tertiary referral units, a safe method of stabilizing the ear and preserving useful hearing.