Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure that removes an infected portion of the mastoid bone when medical treatment is not effective.
Mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove an infected portion of the bone behind the ear when medical treatment is not effective. This surgery is rarely needed today because of the widespread use of antibiotics.
Mastoidectomy is performed to remove infected air cells within the mastoid bone caused by mastoiditis, ear infection, or an inflammatory disease of the middle ear (cholesteatoma). The cells are open spaces containing air that are located throughout the mastoid bone. They are connected to a cavity in the upper part of the bone, which is in turn connected to the middle ear. As a result, infections in the middle ear can sometimes spread through the mastoid bone. When antibiotics cannot clear this infection, it may be necessary to remove the infected air cells by surgery. Mastoidectomies are also performed sometimes to repair paralyzed facial nerves.
In 2000, children's risk of surgery increased from 17.9% in 1981 to 20.2% in 1998/99, while ENT surgery rates increased by 21% over the period.
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