A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove infection or growths in the bone behind the ear (mastoid bone). Its purpose is to create a "safe" ear and prevent further damage to the hearing apparatus.
The mastoid bone is a bone located behind the ear (felt as a hard bump behind the ear). Inside it looks like a honeycomb, with the spaces filled with air. These air cells are connected to the middle ear through an air filled cavity called the mastoid antrum. Although the mastoid bone serves as a reserve air supply to allow normal movement of the eardrum, its connection to the middle ear may also result in the spread of middle ear infections to the mastoid bone (mastoiditis).
Who needs the operation?
People who have Cholesteatoma, acute mastoiditis refractory to antibiotics, some cases of chronic suppurative otitis media. A mastoidectomy is also helpful in preventing further complications of mastoiditis. These include hearing loss, facial paralysis, meningitis, brain abscess, or blood clots in the veins of the brain.
Surgical risk and possible complications:
Commoner risk: recurrence and residual disease, infection, bleeding, worsening of conductive hearing loss, taste loss or disturbance, allergic reaction to packing, dizziness
Less common risk (<1%): facial nerve injury, partial to total sensorineural hearing loss, ear canal stenosis, pinna deformity due to infection of pinna, intracranial injury
What would happen if NO operation?
Persistent infection, intracranial complications such as meningitis (inflammation of the brain membrane) and intracranial abscess ( pus in the brain area) facial nerve paralysis, infection of inner ear will result.