Chronic suppurative otitis media can have long-term effects on hearing if not managed effectively. When combined with cholesteatoma the condition may require creation of an open mastoid cavity. Recurrence of cholesteatoma is a concern when cochlear implantation is performed with overclosure of the external auditory meatus. A 61-year-old female with recurrent cholesteatoma in this setting was treated using a preauricular approach to provide adequate visualization while preventing the need to remove the implant or risking injury to the internal components. This technique would be useful in similar patients to prevent morbidity from removal and reinsertion of a cochlear implant.