Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October 10, 2006 - Six Days Before Surgery

Well, a big weight off our sholders today. We emailed CHEO with our decision to go with the Cochlear Freedom brand of implant, and now we're ready to go!

However, we did recieve an email today from one of the staff at CHEO that read,

"Thanks Nicole, yes I did get that information from Paula [NM: the information that Aiden's right tube was open, and looked clear of fluid from the Tymp test] and that was good news; please keep on keeping the aid off the right ear as we discussed previously; I want to be sure that you understand that the open tube is good news but the surgeon may still find some small amount of fluid internally in the mastoid; he would then be forced to do the procedure in two stages; first doing the mastoidectomy and then the implant 2-3 months later."

I had vaguely remember knowing this, but needless to say, I was pretty deflated by this news. I guess the roller coaster continues :> We are sure hoping this doesn't happen. If you are interested, keep reading on to learn a bit more about what a Mastoidectomy is...

A Mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove an infected portion of the bone behind the ear when medical treatment is not effective. This surgery is rarely needed today because of the widespread use of antibiotics.

Purpose

Mastoidectomy is performed to remove infected air cells within the mastoid bone caused by mastoiditis, ear infection, or an inflammatory disease of the middle ear (cholesteatoma). The cells are open spaces containing air that are located throughout the mastoid bone. They are connected to a cavity in the upper part of the bone, which is in turn connected to the middle ear. As a result, infections in the middle ear can sometimes spread through the mastoid bone. When antibiotics can't clear this infection, it may be necessary to remove the infected air cells by surgery. Mastoidectomies are also performed sometimes to repair paralyzed facial nerves.

Description

There are several different types of mastoidectomy:

Simple (or closed). The operation is performed through the ear or through a cut (incision) behind the ear. The surgeon opens the mastoid bone and removes the infected air cells. The eardrum is cut (incised) to drain the middle ear. Topical antibiotics are then placed in the ear.
Radical mastoidectomy. The eardrum and most middle ear structures are removed, but the innermost small bone (the stapes) is left behind so that a hearing aid can be used later to offset the hearing loss.
Modified radical mastoidectomy. The eardrum and the middle ear structures are saved, which allows for better hearing than is possible after a radical operation.
The wound is then stitched up around a drainage tube, which is removed a day or two later. The procedure usually takes between two and three hours.

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