Mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure where the surgeon removes part or all of the lower jaw (mandible) due to a tumor called mast cell tumor. There are two types of mastoidectomies: open and modified. Open mastoidectomies involve removing only the upper molars while modifying the lower molar so it cannot grow back. Modified mastoidectomies involve removing both upper and lower molars but replacing them with implants made from bone, cartilage, or other materials.
The term “mastoid” comes from the Greek word meaning “ear”. A mastoid is a small cavity at the ear opening. It’s located just above the eardrum and connects directly to the brain stem which controls our facial muscles. When the mastoidectomies are performed, the surgeons remove part or all of the mastoids.
This causes some pain and discomfort during and after surgery. However, it is not life threatening.
There are several types of mast cells present in the body. These cells help the immune system fight off disease. There are some types of tumors that can form on these mast cells. Over 90% of these tumors occur in the skin, and they’re treatable when they’re small.
However, they pose a major threat to people who have a rare condition called “Gardner’s Syndrome”. When the tumors grow large enough, they start to infiltrate the person’s vital organs. If it’s a malignant tumor, it’s very likely that the person will die.
In these cases, the only way to save the patient’s life is through mastoidectomy. The method used during this operation will depend on the type and size of the tumor. In most cases, the doctors will perform an open mastoidectomy where they make an incision in the patient’s neck and remove as much of the tumor as possible. If this doesn’t work, the patient will need a modified mastoidectomy.
In this operation, the surgeons will cut the skin around the external ear and pull it away to reveal the skull beneath it. They will then drill several small holes in the skull before removing part of it.
Mastoidectomy is most commonly performed on people with tumors that are too large to be treated with traditional methods or who have refused other forms of treatment. In these situations, the only way to save the person’s life is through aggressive surgery. It can also be used to treat people suffering from excessive earwax and impacted earwax removal. It can also be used to treat people suffering from infections of the outer ear canal.
Mastoidectomy recovery time is usually fairly quick. However, it all depends on what type of procedure was performed and if the patient experiences any complications during or after the operation. Most people return to their regular activities within a week although they may experience some pain and discomfort for a few weeks after the operation. During this time, they will need to wear a temporary ear mold to protect the area that has been operated on.
If the patient is experiencing pain while swallowing, they may need to visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist who can prescribe medication to treat this issue.
Overall, mastoidectomies are very safe and effective procedures. As long as patients follow the doctors’ instructions and get plenty of rest after the operation, they should make a full recovery in a matter of weeks.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mastoidectomy update by MM Paparella, CS Kim – The Laryngoscope, 1977 – Wiley Online Library
Mastoidectomy elimination by B Black – The Laryngoscope, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
Revision mastoidectomy by JB Nadol – Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, 2006 – oto.theclinics.com
Tympanoplasty, mastoidectomy, and stapes surgery by U Fisch, J May, T Linder – 2008 – library.tma.uz
Radical mastoidectomy: its place in otitic intracranial complications by B Singh, TJ Maharaj – The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 1993 – cambridge.org