Is mastoidectomy indispensable in cochlear implant surgery?

Jona Kronenberg, Lela Migirov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To challenge the need for mastoidectomy in cochlear implant (CI) surgery by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the classic technique for CI, the mastoidectomy posterior tympanotomy approach (MPTA), with the suprameatal approach (SMA), a nonmastoidectomy approach. Study Design and Setting: A retrospective study of 290 patients who underwent cochlear implantation in our department between 1989 and 2002. One hundred fifty-seven of them underwent the MPTA and 133 underwent the SMA. The ability of the electrode to expand in the MPTA patients who were reoperated on was examined, as was the influence of mastoidectomy on the course of chronic secretory otitis media (SOM) in a group of 56 children who suffered from chronic SOM prior to implantation. Results: In all 4 reoperated children, in whom the MPTA was used, the mastoid was completely closed by bony regrowth on the cortical portion of the mastoid and the mastoid cavity was obliterated. The electrode had been embedded in dense fibrous tissue and bony spicule, preventing electrode expansion. Mastoidectomy was found to have no influence on the course of chronic SOM. The rate of postoperative SOM was found to be equal in 40 children who were operated on using the MPTA compared with 16 operated on using the SMA. Conclusion: Using a nonmastoidectomy approach, such as the SMA, provides a wide exposure of the middle ear and promontory and thus enables a well-controlled cochleostomy site and safe insertion of the electrode into the cochlea. Mastoidectomy in CI surgery is not indispensable; it may cause more disadvantages than advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-31
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Cochlear implant
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Secretory otitis media
  • Surgical approach


Dive into the research topics of 'Is mastoidectomy indispensable in cochlear implant surgery?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this