PROFESSOR TONY WRIGHT, INSTITUTE OF LARYNGOLOGY & OTOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROFESSOR TONY WRIGHT, INSTITUTE OF LARYNGOLOGY & OTOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mastoidectomy, otoscope view. Patient's eardrum (tympanic membrane) after removal of the bony roof and back wall of the ear canal to treat a growth known as a cholesteatoma. This condition is where where a mass of dead skin cells accumulating in a pocket on the eardrum can erode the surrounding tissues. Serious consequences include profound hearing loss, vertigo, facial nerve damage, and in severe cases a brain abscess. If infected, the dead skin results in a foul-smelling discharge. In a mastoidectomy, the eroded area is removed and the mastoid area reconstructed, as seen here.
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