A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of the mastoid portion of the temporal bone. The temporal bone forms the side portion of the skull, and its mastoid portion is the part directly behind the ear.
This procedure is done for people who have chronic mastoiditis, which is infection or inflammation of the mastoid. A buildup of debris in the middle ear from long-term infections such as chronic otitis media, cancer, or a bone infection can cause the problem. A mastoidectomy may also be used as an approach to get to the inside of the skull to remove a brain tumor.
A mastoidectomy is usually done under general anesthesia. This means that the person is put to sleep with medicine. An incision is made behind the ear. The surrounding bone is drilled to gain access to the mastoid cavity. The mastoid bone is removed though this drilling process. The incision is closed with sutures, and a dressing is applied.