Mastoidectomy or Mastoid Exploration
The mastoid bone, situated right behind the ear, is a non-rigid, sponge-like structure that can get infected due to an untreated infection in the middle ear.
Mastoidectomy, also called mastoid exploration, is complete removal of diseased mastoid air cells from the mastoid bone. A mastoidectomy can be done under general or local anaesthesia.
There are 3 different types of mastoidectomy procedures, undertaken based on the type of conditions: –
- Cortical mastoidectomy- for patients with safe type of middle ear disease, done to improve middle ear ventilation
- Modified radical mastoidectomy (further divided into Inside out and outside in procedures) – for patients with unsafe type of middle ear disease/ cholesteatoma
- Radical mastoidectomy – an extensive surgery reserved for conditions like ear cancers etc.
Why this surgery?
- An untreated unsafe chronic middle ear infection that has spread to the mastoid bone, can later destroy one’s hearing, sense of balance and damage facial nerve to cause facial paralysis.
- As the ear is situated very close to the brain, it can also cause brain infections.
It is essential to carry out a mastoid exploration to remove all diseased parts of the bone to remove or reduce the risk of complications like, loss of hearing, affecting sense of balance, facial paralysis and brain infections.
Know more about Mastoidectomy Surgery
Following precautions are to be taken before the surgery: –
- Till the preceding night of the surgery the patient must take all medications prescribed by the ENT surgeon. The patient is advised to bring along all prescribed and non-prescribed medicines that he/she is currently taking in original packaging.
- The patient must get a good night’s sleep and should not eat anything at all from midnight onwards prior to the surgery day.
- The patient should bring the hospital file at the time of the check-in for surgery including all required test reports such as the major surgical profile, audiological evaluation reports, pre- anaesthetic check-up sheet, radiological investigation films and reports (X-ray, CT scan, MRI, PET scan etc.) and any others investigations advised by your ENT surgeon. It is advised to ready this file a day before the surgery.
- The patient must shampoo their hair before the surgery day. Male patients are advised to ensure a short haircut.
- The patient should be accompanied by an attendant. It is advised to bring along a close family member.
- The patient should report at the hospital at least three hours prior to the surgery’s scheduled timing.
- Report at the reception desk in time and the hospital staff will guide through the next steps.
- Be sure to mention it to the doctor and anaesthetist there is any as cough, cold, fever or throat pain. Mention beforehand if allergic to any drugs.
- In the first 24 hours, complete bed rest is recommended. Do not lie on the side of the operated ear.
- Food or drink is not allowed for 4-5 hours after surgery. After that water is allowed. Caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee or aerated drinks are to be avoided. Semi-solid diet in moderate quantities is allowed after 12 hours and normal food from second day onwards.
- After discharge, all medications are to be taken as prescribed by the surgeon. If the prescription medicines cause any drug reactions such as rashes or stomach upset etc., call the doctor immediately.
- Do not oil your hair or clean your ear till it is allowed.
- Stay away from people with cough and cold.
- Do not blow nose with excessive force and while sneezing, do so with your mouth open.
- Do not have a head bath for a full one month after the surgery. No water should get into the ear. However, daily bath that does not wet or spoil your head bandage till the time it is on your head, is allowed.
- Do not sleep on the operated side for a month afterwards.
- Do not undertake strenuous work or travel by air for a month afterwards.
- Can resume regular office work after 3 days of surgery (unless specially advised by the operating surgeon)
- Swimming and other water activities are allowed after 3 months of the surgery
- Change the cotton outside the ear three times a day using the method demonstrated by the hospital staff and clean behind your ear while bathing.
- Keep an eye open for excessive ear discharge.
After surgery and subsequent discharge from the hospital, the following post-operative visits with the operating surgeon will be scheduled:
- 7 days later for suture and ear bandage removal (1st visit)
- Following first visit, visits every 10 days in the first month (2nd & 3rd visits)
- Visits every 15 days in the second and third month (5th to 8th visits)
- One visit every 3 months for the rest of year
- One visit every 6 months from the second year following the surgery
Mastoidectomy, like any other surgery, carries some risks. Following are the risks that one should know prior to giving consent to this treatment: –
- Taste disturbance: The taste nerve runs close to the eardrum and may sustain some damage to cause abnormal taste on one side of the tongue. While this taste disturbance is mostly a temporary phenomenon, it may be permanent in some cases.
- Dizziness: Dizziness for a few hours after the surgery is normal. In some cases, it may last longer.
- Hearing loss: Very rarely, if the patient’s inner ear is damaged, severe deafness can occur.
- Tinnitus: If the hearing loss worsens, the patient may suffer from tinnitus or noises in the ear.
- Facial Paralysis: As the facial nerve controlling face muscles runs through the ear, there is a slight chance of a partial or total facial paralysis affecting movements such eye closure, smiling and raising the forehead. This facial paralysis can occur immediately after the surgery or after a while. Recovery can be partial or total.
- Allergic reaction to ear dressings: Occasionally the ear may show allergy to the dressings in the ear canal leading to a red, swollen and inflamed pinna (outer ear). Consult the surgeon for dressing removal and settling down of the allergic reaction.
- Risks of a general anaesthetic must also be kept in mind.
Why Dr Rao’s ENT?
Best Success Rate – Mastoidectomy when conducted by expert surgeon delivers very successful outcomes.
World Class Technology
- HD Endoscopes – Provides precise visualisation. Ensures minimal invasive surgical procedure.
- Zeiss Vario Microscope (Germany) – Brings neurosurgical precision to ENT surgeries.
- Lumenis AcuPulse DUO with complete ENT accessories (USA) – Customised beam delivery for superior clinical results and improved patient safety.