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Becky157 Becky157

Mastoid cavity obliteration

I am on the waiting list for one of these operations. I had a radical mastoid op when I was 11 am now 45 and having serious pain so after many oils ointments and sprays this seems like the last ditched attempt. Having had the op explained to me I was wondering if anyone else had had it done. 

8 Replies

  • guest1 guest1 Becky157

    Hi Becky157,

    I had a mastoid obliteration during October last year. I assume you have lost hearing in your affected ear?

    I lost hearing in my left ear when I was first diagnosed with cholesteatoma 11 years ago (aged 30). After 3 mastoidectomies (the first rebuilding my ear drum) to clear me of the conditoin, it was decided that as my hearing had gone in the affected ear, a mastoid obliteration would be the best choice as the cholesteatoma could never come back.

    My mastoid bone, ossicles and ear canal were removed, my eustachian tube plugged with cartilage and fat from my belly transferred to the void. Now almost a year later I have had no problems with the ear and live a normal life. The only physical difference is if that instead of having an ear canal I now have a belly button where it used to be. From a visual look everything looks exactly the same as a normal ear, I just can't put cotton buds down the ear canal anymore! I'm due an MRI in November to check no skin tissue has grown back, then I will be discharged permanantly. The reason they put my tummy fat in the void is to help show up any skin tissue in the void better during any future MRI's - a bit like looking at a solid floating in a bottle of lemonade or water.

    Any questions, please ask, otherwise my thoughts are with you and wish you the best with your op'. SteveM.

    • Becky157 Becky157 guest1

      Thank you for this. If nothing else it puts my mind ah rest. I have been told that they will use muscle already in ditue from my head snd cartridge from my ear. My surgeon (who is currently competing in the common wealth games) has also said he will try and restore my hearing (not holding out any hope). 

      I feel a bit happier now I know someone else has had it done. Can you hear in that ear now?


  • guest1 guest1 Becky157

    I spent ages searching the internet when I was first told about this op and couldn't find much about it, I guess it's not very common.  I do remember reading somewhere that after a mastoid obliteration, the hearing parts can be reconstructed at a later date.  When I saw the pre-assessment nurse she got a picture of the inner ear and showed me exactly what was going to be removed - this helped a lot.  I can't hear in my affected ear because when I first got cholesteatoma it took a long time to diagnose and it managed to get across to my cochlea and badly damage it.  My specialist gave me an option of putting an anchor hearing aid on that side which would conduct hearing around my head to my other ear but I decided not to have it done as I was used to getting by with one ear.  Hope this helps - SteveM

    • Becky157 Becky157 guest1

      I had it done last Wednesday. It apparently went very well. He removed diseased bone and used muscle from my head to line the cavity. He has made an eardrum from cartledge from my ear and tried to reconstruct the hearing parts using titanium rods, so if nothing else I am bionic. It's very early days, the scar behind my ear is small but bloody painful as is my head. I have to go back on 24th to have the packing removed. When I swollow I can hear cracking on that side which is very odd. I haven't heard anything on that side since I was 11. I am now 46!!!! I am not holding out hope of hearing I just don't want any more pain. I will let you know 


  • smallen smallen Becky157

    I was watching a surgery video today and learned of this procedure.   I've had bi-lateral mastoidectomy procedures when I was young.... 9, 10, 11...   Don't remeber exactly how old I was.  I'm 61 now.   I've had numerous numerous procedures to restore hearing.  Most worked "for a while"  finally settled on a bunch of different types of hearing aids.  Eventually - these hearing aids weren't suitable for me.  I've got some pretty short ear canals and due to all the surgeries - the molds are just to hard to fit.  My audiologist - in Boston, MA - suggested I try a BAHA " a bone anchored hearing aid"...   I am quite happy with it ....   There are currently two manufacturers of this type of aid.   Works for me.

  • dezm dezm Becky157

    After a series of cholestoma took out the ossicles in my right ear I am considering mastoid obliteration as an option to improve quality of life -- a heavy rainstorm can sometimes bring enough moisture into my ear canal to restart an infection.

    It has been nice to read the experience of others here.

    • jennyD82 jennyD82 dezm

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  • karenskip karenskip Becky157

    Hi becky

    I had this done in 2013 and they used my skull bone and cartlidge to repair. I can hear so that's a blessing but I still get a very full feeling that drives me mad. I just want to rip my ear open sometimes when it gets too bad. Sleeping is still a problem too as lying on one particular place sends a shock. They say it's a neuroma from the surgery. My op was lengthy but I recovered eventually...long story. My ear canal was remade (attempted) they say and I just wish it was wider because sometimes I need to open it up because it feels so full. I can also feel bone just inside and it did bleed for quite some time when touched. I

    have not had any recurrence although they did say it could. At the moment I am debating going to the doctors because I have got a dull ache behind again. I was also discharged from ent this year although I thought we were checked lifelong?

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