Mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure that is commonly performed to treat chronic ear infections, specifically those that involve the mastoid bone located behind the ear. The mastoid bone is a part of the temporal bone, which is situated on the side of the skull and contains the middle and inner ear structures. When chronic ear infections persist and are not effectively treated with antibiotics or other conservative measures, mastoidectomy may be necessary to stop the infection in its tracks and prevent further complications.
Mastoidectomy: When is it Needed?
Mastoidectomy is typically indicated in cases of chronic otitis media, which is a middle ear infection that persists or recurs despite medical treatment. Chronic otitis media can cause inflammation and infection in the mastoid air cells, which are small, air-filled spaces within the mastoid bone. If left untreated, the infection can spread to nearby structures including the brain, leading to serious complications such as mastoiditis, abscess formation, or damage to the facial nerve or inner ear.
The Mastoidectomy Procedure: What to Expect after this ENT Surgery
The mastoidectomy procedure is typically performed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist. The surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia, and the surgeon makes an incision behind the ear to access the mastoid bone. The infected mastoid air cells are then carefully removed, and any infected or damaged tissue is cleaned out. In some cases, the surgeon may also need to repair or reconstruct any damaged structures, such as the eardrum or middle ear bones. In some approaches the surgeon may incise from the front of the ear also- Endaural approach.
Mastoidectomy: Different Approaches for Different Cases
There are several different types of mastoidectomy, and the choice of approach depends on the severity and location of the infection, as well as the patient’s individual needs. Some common types of mastoidectomy include:
Simple Mastoidectomy: This is the most basic type of mastoidectomy, and involves removal of the infected mastoid air cells while leaving the middle ear structures intact.
Modified Radical Mastoidectomy: This involves removal of the infected mastoid air cells, as well as the middle ear structures (such as the eardrum and middle ear bones) if they are also infected or damaged.
Radical Mastoidectomy: This is the most extensive type of mastoidectomy, and involves removal of the entire mastoid bone, as well as the middle and inner ear structures. This type of mastoidectomy is rarely performed and is reserved for severe cases of infection or when other treatment options have failed or for ear malignancies.
Mastoidectomy – Recovery and Risks: What to Expect After the Mastoidectomy Surgery?
After mastoidectomy, patients may experience some pain, swelling, and drainage from the surgical site, which are typically managed with pain medications and antibiotics. The recovery period can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s overall health, but most patients can expect to return to their normal activities within a few days.. It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with mastoidectomy, including infection, bleeding, damage to nearby structures (such as the facial nerve or inner ear), and changes in hearing or balance. However, these risks are generally low and most patients experience successful outcomes with improved ear health and resolution of chronic ear infections.
Conclusion: The Importance of Mastoidectomy in Treating Chronic Ear Infections
Mastoidectomy is a valuable surgical procedure that plays a crucial role in the treatment of chronic ear disease, specially Unsafe CSOM, or the so called Atticoantral disease.