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A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure that removes diseased mastoid air cells. These cells sit behind your ear in a hollow space in your skull. The diseased cells are often the result of an ear infection that has spread into your skull.
The infection sometimes spreads to the temporal bone. Your doctor may need to remove parts of the infected bone if this occurs. This results in hearing loss.
There are several types of mastoidectomy, including:
You can expect some hearing loss from a radical and modified radical mastoidectomy.
This surgery isn’t as common as it used to be. Antibiotics usually treat infections, but surgery is an option if antibiotics fail.
A mastoidectomy can treat complications of chronic otitis media (COM). COM is an ongoing ear infection in your middle ear. It can cause a cholesteatoma, which is a skin cyst or pouch, if it’s left untreated. The cyst grows gradually over time and may lead to serious complications such as:
Your doctor may also perform a mastoidectomy to put in a cochlear implant. This small, complex electronic device can help provide you with a sense of sound if you’re profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.
This surgery can also remove abnormal growths at the base of your skull.
A mastoidectomy is usually performed using general anesthesia. This ensures that you’re asleep and unable to feel pain. For a simple mastoidectomy, your surgeon will usually:
Your surgeon may also use a facial nerve monitor. This ensures the facial nerve isn’t damaged.
You can can expect to have bandages over your ear when you wake up. There will also be stitches close to your ear. You may have a headache, discomfort, and some numbness.
After surgery, your doctor may:
Your doctor may also tell you to cover the site when you bathe, using a cup or a cotton ball covered in petroleum jelly. You should avoid strenuous activity and air travel. Refrain from putting pressure on your ear as well.
Complications of a mastoidectomy can include:
Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. You should also call your doctor if you have heavy ear bleeding, a fever over 100.5°F, or if your bandage comes off.
The outlook varies depending on the reason for the mastoidectomy and the type of mastoidectomy. Hearing loss is common with both modified radical and radical mastoidectomy.
You need to have regular follow-ups with your doctor if you have cholesteatoma. Your doctor will check to make sure that your ear is healing correctly and will remove your bandage during your follow-up appointment.
Written by: Natalie Phillips
Published on: Jul 20, 2012on: May 03, 2017
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