What Is Mastoid Surgery?

Written by paul favors
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What Is Mastoid Surgery?
Mastoid surgery is required when, due to ear diseases, the mastoid bone is infected. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCullough)

Mastoid surgery is required when, due to ear diseases, the mastoid bone is infected. The mastoid bone is located behind the ear and is surrounded by air spaces, the largest of which is the antrum.

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The bone covering the infection-induced mastoid cavity is removed. Some surgeons will leave the mastoid cavity open to allow easier examination while others will close the mastoid cavity with a muscle, cartilage or a bone.

Success Rate

According to the Newcastle Hospitals, the success rate of mastoid surgery is usually more than 80 per cent with the possibility of an improved hearing ability.


Before going through mastoid surgery, possible risks like dizziness, loss of hearing, weakness of the face, reaction to ear dressing, and tinnitus should be considered.


Patients are usually sent home a day after surgery once the bandage has been removed. The patient may feel dizzy at times but will quickly recover. Stitches are removed a week or two after surgery.

Post-Surgery Care

Taking care of the ear always starts with keeping the ear dry. Cover the ear with a cotton ball covered in petroleum jelly when washing the hair or when taking a shower. If pain and swelling occurs, consult an ENT specialist.

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