To describe an effective technique for mastoid cavity obliteration in canal wall down tympanomastoidectomy for chronic otitis media and review its efficacy in producing a dry, low-maintenance, small mastoid cavity.
Retrospective clinical study of a consecutive series of procedures from 1995 to 2000.
Tertiary referral center and institutional academic practice in otology and neurotology.
Sixty consecutive procedures for active chronic otitis media with a minimum follow-up of 12 months (mean, 31 mo; range, 12–80 mo).
All patients had canal wall down mastoidectomy with simultaneous tympanoplasty including split-thickness skin grafting. An inferiorly pedicled, periosteal-pericranial flap was used in conjunction with autologous bone pate to obliterate the mastoid cavity. The additional length provided by the pericranial extension of the flap permitted it to reach superior to the lateral canal and into the sinodural angle, with improved coverage of bone pate and better reduction of cavity size.
The primary outcome measure was control of suppuration and creation of a dry, low-maintenance mastoid cavity, which was assessed using a previously developed semiquantitative scale. This scale includes a temporal dimension to assess control of infection. Secondary outcome measures included postoperative complications (i.e., hematoma, infection, flap necrosis, and meatal stenosis) and incidence of recurrent or residual cholesteatoma.
Forty-nine ears (82%) maintained a small, dry, healthy mastoid cavity. Five ears (8%) had intermittent otorrhea easily controlled by topical treatment. Six ears (10%) had suboptimal control of otorrhea, of which four had meatal stenosis. There were no residual or recurrent cholesteatomas. Outcomes remained stable over progressively longer follow-up, up to 80 months.
Obliteration of a canal wall down mastoid cavity by a postauricular periosteal-pericranial flap with autologous bone pate is a reliable and effective technique that results in a dry, trouble-free mastoid cavity in 90% of patients with active chronic otitis media.