Dr. Shirley is highly experienced in the care of the chronically diseased ear.  A Cholesteatoma is a condition where skin (squamous tissue) becomes trapped in the middle ear and mastoid bone behind the ear.  This usually arises in children with a long history of ear disease and eustachian tube dysfunction.  Chronic high negative pressure in the middle ear results in retraction of the skin on the tympanic membrane which then can become trapped around the ear bones and within the many very small crevices and spaces within the middle ear and mastoid.  Dr. Shirley has taken care of and eradicated high numbers of complex aggressive cholesteatomas.  In keeping with his overall surgical philosophy he always attempts to be as conservative as possible in making intraoperative decisions about when and whether to sacrifice the middle ear hearing bones and whether or not the ear canal needs to be removed (which can deform the ear canal appearance).  In many cases Dr. Shirley has been able to preserve the hearing bones and ear canal while at the same time being able to eradicate the cholesteatoma and diseased tissue.  Dr. Shirley was one of the first surgeons at the Children’s Hospital to use the CO2 laser in middle ear surgery to aid in the careful and meticulous dissection needed in the middle ear to eradicate disease and help preserve normal function.  After the middle ear disease is stable it will be determined if the patient is a candidate for ossicular chain reconstruction (placing a prosthesis to take the place of a diseased middle ear bone that had to be removed in previous surgeries).   Dr. Shirley has many years of experience in performing such surgeries and has helped to restore the hearing in many patients by placing prosthetic ear bones and by sometimes altering the structure of the tympanic membrane or ear canal.

Providing Pediatric ENT services for children ages 0-21 to the greater Birmingham area and all of Alabama.