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What is mastoidectomy?

Mastoidectomy surgery is a minimally invasive surgery in which the ENT surgeon removes the diseased cells from air-filled spaces in the mastoid bone. It is the most effective treatment for severe chronic mastoiditis or in the case of a cholesteatoma. It is especially necessary to prevent the spread of mastoid infection to the skull (and brain).

In some cases, it may also be necessary to create space for cochlear implants in hearing-impaired patients. Generally, the surgeon removes the diseased parts of the mastoid bone and connects the mastoid bone to the ear canal to facilitate hearing even after parts of the bone are removed.

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USFDA Approved Procedures

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No Cuts. No Wounds. Painless*.

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Best doctors for mastoidectomy

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    Pristyn Care hospitals for mastoidectomy

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      Best ENT treatment centers for mastoidectomy surgery

      Best ENT treatment centers for mastoidectomy surgery

      Pristyn Care is one of the most advanced surgery providers in India, with ENT clinics and associated hospitals in most major Indian cities. We also have a team of expert ENT specialists with over 10 years of experience in performing advanced head and neck surgeries, such as mastoidectomy, stapedectomy, tympanoplasty, etc. 

      In addition to advanced treatment, we also provide all our patients other auxiliary services such as insurance support, cab service, complimentary meals during hospitalization, free follow-up appointments, etc. Our first priority is ensuring that all our patients have a seamless treatment journey and recovery period, and we try our hardest to achieve that.

      What happens during a mastoidectomy?

      What happens during a mastoidectomy?

      Diagnosis

      A mastoidectomy can be performed for either a cholesteatoma or a severe mastoid infection. Its symptoms can often be confused with other ear infections and problems, thus, your ENT doctor needs to perform a thorough diagnosis before drafting a treatment plan. 

      To confirm the diagnosis, you may need several diagnostic tests like blood tests, along with imaging scans like MRI, CT scan, and X-rays of your head and ear area. The scan will help determine the severity of mastoid degeneration. In case there is a chance that the infection has spread to the skull, you may also need a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.

      Treatment

      Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgical treatment may vary a little. A simple mastoidectomy involves only the removal of the diseased part of the bone and leaves the ear canal intact. However, if you need extensive surgery, then your surgeon may need to combine your ear canal and mastoid bone by widening the ear canal to preserve hearing function. This type of surgery is known as a radical or modified mastoidectomy. 

      The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, and you would be able to go home on the same day as the surgery. The surgical incision is created behind the ear to minimize the scar appearance, and once the infected areas of bone are removed, the incision is closed with sutures and dressed appropriately. The complete procedure takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

      How to prepare for mastoidectomy surgery?

      How to prepare for mastoidectomy surgery?

      You should follow the given instructions to prepare for your mastoid ear surgery:

      • Take your medicines as prescribed. Do not over or under-medicate on your own before the surgery.
      • Stop tobacco consumption about 2-3 weeks before the surgery as nicotine and tobacco can delay healing and result in scarring.
      • Make sure you are following the dietary restrictions required for your surgery. 
      • If you have a fever or discomfort the day before the surgery, then make sure your surgeon is aware of it in advance and has prepared accordingly.
      • Wear loose-fitting clothing for the surgery as it is more comfortable. Make sure you are not wearing any jewelry or makeup during the surgery. 

      What to expect after a mastoidectomy?

      What to expect after a mastoidectomy?

      You will be discharged from the hospital within 24 hours of the surgery and can start your daily activities within the next few days. Full recovery after a mastoidectomy takes about 6-12 weeks, depending on how extensive the surgery was. 

      The main goal behind the surgery is to drain the infection and stop it from spreading to the skull, so there might be a little hearing loss, especially after a radical mastoidectomy. However, most patients notice an improvement in hearing ability after the surgery.

      When is a mastoidectomy required?

      When is a mastoidectomy required?

      A mastoidectomy is usually considered necessary if the patient has a severe ear infection that is not improving even after maximum medical management. In such cases, there is a high chance that the infection can spread to the skull and cause severe complications like facial paralysis, complete hearing loss, meningitis, sepsis, etc.

      A mastoidectomy may also be required if the patient has a cholesteatoma, a noncancerous growth behind the eardrum. A cholesteatoma usually results from recurrent middle ear infections and develops as cysts. It can grow in size and destroy the middle ear bones if not treated in time. Another common reason why someone may require a mastoidectomy is if they are getting a cochlear implant.

      How can a mastoidectomy benefit you?

      How can a mastoidectomy benefit you?

      The primary goal of a mastoidectomy is to relieve chronic middle ear infections, provide drainage to the pus-filled air spaces in the mastoid bone, and prevent the infection from spreading and causing irreversible damage to the skull and other body parts.

      Untreated, a mastoid infection (or cholesteatoma) can result in serious complications like permanent hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness, facial nerve damage, labyrinthitis, meningitis, brain abscess, facial paralysis, epidural abscess, sepsis, etc. 

      Recovery and results after mastoidectomy surgery

      Recovery and results after mastoidectomy surgery

      Barring any complications, you will be discharged on the same day with dressing around the ear canal to keep it safe from water and other foreign substances. You may have a little swelling around the eye on the operated site. Vertigo, nausea, and vomiting are common on the first day due to after-effects of anesthesia on the patient. 

      You may experience altered taste sensation, tinnitus, ear numbness, jaw stiffness, and soreness for a few days after the surgery. If you have undergone radical mastoidectomy, you may even experience balance issues for at least a week after the surgery.

      If you want to improve your recovery after mastoidectomy, you should follow the given tips:

      • Keep water out of the ear canal while bathing or showering. Wait at least 4-5 days before washing your hair. 
      • A little blood and pus drainage is common after the surgery. You can clean the outer ear canal using Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide solution but do not insert it into the ear canal.
      • Avoid irritating the incision for at least 7-10 days to allow adequate healing. 
      • If you want to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. Do not hold the sneeze in as it may build up air pressure in the ear canal.
      • Wait at least 2 weeks before blowing your nose as that may shift the healing inner and middle ear structures from their proper positions.
      • Take your medicines as prescribed, do not skip a dose.
      • Try to sleep on your back, or if you want to sleep on the side, then sleep while putting pressure on the unoperated side.
      • Do not perform any strenuous activities or play contact sports for at least a few weeks or before approval from your ENT surgeon.
      • Do not swim without approval from your doctor.
      • If you notice any signs of complications, then contact your doctor immediately for further treatment.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can I still get ear infections after a mastoidectomy?

      Mastoidectomy surgery is successful in about 80-90% of cases, and there is a very rare chance of recurrence after the surgery. You may get mild ear infections from time to time, but they can be easily managed via medications.

      How long will my ear need dressing after the mastoid surgery?

      You can remove your dressing after 2 days, but you need to make sure the water and other foreign substances do not enter the ear canal. You can use cotton laced with antibiotics or Vaseline to keep the ear canal covered while bathing.

      Would I need tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy surgery?

      If you have a perforated eardrum in addition to a mastoid/middle ear infection, then you may need a tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy. The surgery will be performed at the same time, and you will recover within 6-8 weeks.

      Which doctor should I consult for a mastoidectomy?

      If you have ear problems and suspect you might need a mastoidectomy, then you should consult an ENT specialist (ear, nose, and throat doctor). 

      Is mastoidectomy painful?

      No, the surgery is performed under local anesthesia, so there is no pain during the surgery. After the surgery, there might be a little pain and discomfort during the recovery period, which can be managed through over-the-counter medications.

      Will I experience any hearing loss after a mastoidectomy?

      In severe cases where extensive removal of mastoid bone is necessary, a little hearing loss is common after the surgery, but generally, during a simple mastoidectomy, the ear canal remains intact, and there is no hearing loss.

      Types of mastoidectomy

      Types of mastoidectomy

      There are three main types of mastoidectomy, based on the severity of the issue and extensiveness of the surgery:

      Simple mastoidectomy

      A simple mastoidectomy is the least invasive surgery and is usually performed when only a little part of the mastoid needs to be resected. The ear canal and middle ear structures are left completely intact, so there is no hearing loss.

      Canal-wall-up mastoidectomy (or tympanomastoidectomy)

      This procedure involves more bone removal than a simple mastoidectomy to provide the surgeon better access to the middle-ear space behind your eardrum, including your ossicles. The ear canal is usually left intact during this type of surgery.

      Canal-wall-down mastoidectomy (or tympanomastoidectomy)

      A canal-wall-down mastoidectomy is performed when the mastoid infection has damaged the ear canal beyond repair or when ear canal dissection is necessary for the success of the surgery. The surgeon combines the ear canal and mastoid bone through a large open cavity called a mastoid bowl or mastoid cavity. This also facilitates future drainage sessions, if required. This procedure is also known as a radical or modified mastoidectomy. Since there is a large-scale resection of the ear canal required, the surgery may result in some degree of hearing loss.

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