Mastoid air cells are open, air-containing spaces in one of the skull bones.
An infection of the mastoid air cells that cannot be controlled with antibiotics may call for surgical treatment.
A mastoidectomy is the surgical removal of these mastoid air cells; the surgery may extend into the middle ear.
Review Date: 8/30/2012 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.