A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove diseased cells from the mastoid bone. The mastoid bone is located behind the ear and contains air-filled spaces that help to amplify sound and equalize pressure in the middle ear.
Mastoidectomy is most commonly used to treat mastoiditis, an infection of the mastoid bone. Mastoiditis can be caused by an ear infection that spreads to the mastoid bone, or it can occur on its own. Other reasons for mastoidectomy include:
- Cholesteatoma, a non-cancerous growth of skin cells in the middle ear
- Tumors of the mastoid bone or middle ear
- Congenital ear deformities
- To place a cochlear implant, a device that helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing
There are three main types of mastoidectomy:
- Simple mastoidectomy: This is the least invasive type of mastoidectomy. The surgeon makes a cut behind the ear and removes the infected or diseased cells from the mastoid bone.
- Modified radical mastoidectomy: This type of mastoidectomy is more extensive than a simple mastoidectomy. The surgeon removes the mastoid bone, the eardrum, and some of the middle ear bones.
- Radical mastoidectomy: This is the most extensive type of mastoidectomy. The surgeon removes the mastoid bone, the eardrum, all of the middle ear bones, and part of the ear canal.
The type of mastoidectomy that is performed will depend on the severity of the infection or disease, and the patient’s individual needs.
Mastoidectomy is a relatively safe and effective surgery. However, there are some risks associated with it, including:
- Hearing loss
- Facial nerve paralysis
Mastoidectomy is performed under general anesthesia, so the patient will be asleep and pain-free during the surgery. The length of the surgery will depend on the type of mastoidectomy that is being performed.
After mastoidectomy, the patient will need to stay in the hospital for a few days. The patient will also need to wear a bandage on their ear for several weeks. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery to ensure a full recovery.