What is the mastoid?

The mastoid is a bone located immediately behind the external ear.

What is the middle ear?

This is a space behind the drum filled with air. The middle ear and mastoid communicate.

Why is this surgery required?

There may be inflammation in the middle ear which can extend to the mastoid bone. Often there may be abnormal skin growth from the ear canal to the middle ear and mastoid (cholesteatoma).

How will this surgery help me?

An infection in the middle ear and mastoid can be dangerous. It can cause infection in the meninges (meningitis) or even in the brain.

What is a mastoidectomy and how is it done?

A mastoidectomy is an operation using special tools to remove an infection or skin growth behind your eardrum together with the surrounding (mastoid) bone, which enables good ventilation in the area. We use a graft to seal up any hole in the eardrum.

How will my ear look after? Will I have a scar?

The ear will look normal. Scars heal quickly and are difficult to see.

Will I be asleep during the surgery?

Yes. This is called general anesthesia.

What can go wrong?

Serious complications are rare. You may have to remove one or more of the bones found in the middle ear. This can make your hearing worse. Of course we will try to replace them if we can. The facial nerve passes through the middle ear and mastoid. It can hurt and cause weakness in the face. The weakness may be permanent or temporary. It can also cause damage to a nerve that is located in the middle ear and cause a problem with the taste.

How many days will remain in the clinic and how long should I stay off work?

You will stay in hospital one day. You will need two weeks off from work.

Will I have a gauze bandage on my ear?

You may have a bandage for a day. You will have gauze in the ear for a few weeks. The stitches usually disappear in a few days. The ear will be flooded for a few days and you may have dizziness for 2-3 days.

What I have to avoid after i leave the hospital?

You must avoid getting water in the ear. Take care when showering and washing your hair to avoid infection. Avoid vigorous exercise such as lifting heavy objects for two weeks. Do not blow your nose because it can damage the graft.

What medications will I need after surgery?

You will need painkillers, drops and antibiotics.

When should I have my ear examined? How often? For how long?

Usually one week after surgery, you should be examined in the clinic.