A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure that removes diseased mastoid air cells. The mastoid is the part of your skull located behind your ear. It’s filled with air cells made of bone and looks like a honey comb. The diseased cells are often the result of an ear infection that has spread into your skull. The procedure can also be used to remove an abnormal growth of the ear known as a cholesteatoma.
There are variations of mastoidectomy procedures, including:
- simple mastoidectomy, in which your surgeon opens your mastoid bone, removes the infected air cells, and drains your middle ear
- radical mastoidectomy, in which your surgeon may remove your mastoid air cells, your eardrum, most of your middle ear structures, and your ear canal. This procedure is reserved for complicated mastoid disease.
- modified radical mastoidectomy, which is a less severe form of radical mastoidectomy that involves removing mastoid air cells along with some, but not all, middle ear structures
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.