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Mastoid Surgery

ENTACC Services, Patient Exam

A middle ear infection is painful enough as it is, but when it is left untreated, it can cause mastoiditis. Mastoiditis is when the mastoid bone becomes infected, potentially leading to the destruction of bone if not treated quickly. The infection can also spread to the brain and lead to hearing loss. If antibiotics are unsuccessful, mastoid surgery may be necessary.

Causes of Mastoiditis

The leading cause of mastoiditis is ear infections. The bacteria in the middle ear infection spreads to the air cells in the mastoid bones, which prevents fluid from draining effectively. This lack of drainage leads to fluid buildup and results in mastoiditis. Mastoiditis mainly occurs in children and is usually resolved without long-term problems when caught quickly.

Another condition that can cause mastoiditis is cholesteatoma. A cholesteatoma is a type of cyst that develops in the middle ear.

Symptoms of Mastoiditis

The symptoms of mastoiditis include:

  • Swelling, redness, and tenderness of the ear lobe and area behind the ear
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy

Diagnosis and quick treatment of Mastoiditis is important

When left untreated, mastoiditis can be dangerous and even life-threatening. It can cause long-term issues like hearing loss and even spread to the brain. The good news is that most cases are treated successfully using antibiotics, and our doctors at ENTACC are well trained to diagnose all conditions of the ear. 
Our doctor will first go through a thorough ear exam to look for any infection. Then they may order other tests, like a CT scan or MRI, to rule out any other conditions. After confirming that it’s mastoiditis, our doctors will then develop a treatment plan that will work for you. Some chronic cases may require frequent ear cleanings or surgery if antibiotics fail to work.

Mastoid Surgery: Mastoidectomy

Mastoid surgery may be required if your case of mastoiditis is too severe or if it’s recurring. During a mastoidectomy, a hole is drilled in the mastoid bone to remove the infection. General anesthesia is used during the procedure, and most people can go home the same day.

After surgery, you will most likely have stitches, your ear will be bandaged, and you may experience symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Numbness

Pain medication and antibiotics are prescribed, and you will schedule a time to come back for a check-up and stitch removal. Post-operation instructions include staying away from strenuous activities, keeping water out of your ear, and avoiding activities that build pressure in your ear, like flying. Complications aren’t common, but some include facial nerve paralysis, sensorineural hearing loss, vertigo, change in taste, and tinnitus.

If you have an ear infection, don’t delay

If you feel pain in your ear or experience any of the symptoms of infection, you should schedule with ENTACC. The key to treating all infections is to catch them quickly. Our physician at ENTACC can diagnose and treat you quickly and effectively.

Erin O. from Downingtown, PA

“I had stopped taking my allergy medicine and ended up with the worse sinus infection of my life. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County genuinely will provide you with the best care. I was overwhelmed by the kindness, concern, and sense of urgency everyone gave. My phone calls were returned promptly and time was made to see me in the office when it was an emergency.”

Connie J. from West Chester, PA

“I can say after years of coming to Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County, my relationship and trust with Dr. Marriotti has grown tremendously. He is personable, friendly and I appreciate his input with my hearing condition. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County is always cheery and pleasant. I enjoy my visits and always leave feeling like I am in good hands.”

Dauna P. from University Lincoln, PA

“I am so grateful for the care Dr. Picariello has given for my complex and serious brain diagnosis. He has made such an impression on the way the process was handled. I shall never forget him and how humble he was when dealing with my condition. He is truly one of the best around and I am fortunate for his high ethical standards and professionalism.”

Kathy S. from Schwenksvile, PA

“The knowledge, encouragement, concern, and individual attention the doctors of Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County had demonstrated was far beyond my expectations. The office atmosphere is professional yet friendly. The doctors know their profession well and are able to explain in basic understandable terms. They made sure we were comfortable and took their time going over everything extensively.”

James B., from Coatesville, PA

“The allergy shot process has been a great experience and has prevented a reoccurrence of my nasal polyps, and decreased the need for my asthma inhaler. The allergy staff is excellent.”