If you’ve had a number of ear infections and become immune to antibiotics and other medications, a surgical procedure called a mastoidectomy may help. This procedure focuses on the mastoid, a cavity in the bone behind the ear connected to the middle ear. The operation removes infected or diseased tissue from inside the mastoid air cells and around the middle ear.

Mastoid surgery is typically needed when there is a hole in the eardrum from injury or infection or a persistent infection in the middle ear or mastoid. It can also be necessary when there is an abnormal skin growth called cholesteatoma.

What Will Mastoidectomy Treat?
Mastoidectomy may treat:

  • Cholesteatoma
  • Complications of an ear infection (otitis media)
  • Mastoid bone infections that do not get better with antibiotic treatment
  • Placement of a cochlear implant

How is Mastoidectomy Surgery Performed?
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room. The surgery will last two-three hours and may be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures like tympanoplasty or ossicular chain reconstruction.

During the surgery, a portion of the mastoid bone near the ear is removed, and any infected tissue or fluid is drained from the area. The goal is to alleviate your symptoms and enhance your overall ear health by removing the diseased mastoid lining and cholesteatoma.

Risks of Mastoidectomy Surgery
Risks may include:

  • Changes in taste
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Infection that persists or keeps returning
  • Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Weakness of the face
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak

Schedule A Consultation
Mastoidectomy can be an effective treatment for certain ear conditions. To determine if this procedure is right for you, speak with the otolaryngologist at Western New York ENT to discuss your options.


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