A mastoidectomy is surgery to remove cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear. These cells are called mastoid air cells.
The surgery used to be a common way to treat an infection in the mastoid air cells. Such infection usually resulted from an ear infection that spread to the nearby bone in the skull.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Mastoidectomy may be used to treat:
- Complications of an ear infection (otitis media)
- Infections of the mastoid bone that do not get better with antibiotics
- To place a cochlear implant
- Changes in taste
- Hearing loss
- Infection that persists or keeps returning
- Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
- Weakness of the face
Lambert PR. Mastoidectomy. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 142.
Chole RA, Sudhoff HH. Chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, and petrositis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 139.
Review Date: 8/30/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.