Tommy is just fine now. His surgery did end up being less involved than originally planned. We were all pleased.
As it turned out, he didn't have a cholesteatoma. He did have a lot of fluid. The doctor said he also had a lot of adhesions and scar tissue that he removed... so apparently there was a lot of action going on in there that we weren't aware of. There was also a large hole (the reason we were intitially sent for the CT) where some bone had eroded. He said he thought about repairing it now, but apparently that wouldn't do any good as Thomas' Eustacian tubes are still maturing, so he would end up just having to do it again anyway. Instead we'll wait until Thomas is 8 or 9 and go in for another surgery. That means, though, that Thomas will be prone to getting a cholesteatoma in the meantime, so he's going to have a custom ear plug made that he'll have to wear in the shower and any time he goes swimming. For at least the next three weeks, though, he just has to stay out of the pool and take baths with special care.
So, all in all it was good news - aside from the need for a second surgery anyway. The doctor was able to see what he needed to see by lifting up the ear drum and didn't have to make an incision behind the ear as he had expected. He put in a tube. We will follow up in three weeks.
The bandage is off now; he just has cotton in his ear, and the plan is to go back to his summer day camp program tomorrow! Yay for Tommy!