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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Canal wall down mastoidectomy: A long term commitment to the outpatients?

Hisham S Khalil* and Paul C Windle-Taylor

Author Affiliations

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon, U.K

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BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2003, 3:1  doi:10.1186/1472-6815-3-1

Published: 4 September 2003



Canal wall down and canal wall up mastoidectomy represent two surgical approaches to middle ear cleft pathology. Very few studies have examined the effects of these procedures both on the patients' well being and on the resources needed to maintain that state. In this study the authors report the outpatient attendance pattern of canal wall down mastoidectomy patients


This is a retrospective case-note review of 101 patients who underwent a CWD mastoidectomy at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK. All surgery was performed by the senior author (PCW-T) between 1985 and 1997. The main outcome measures were the frequency of outpatients' visits, clinical problems at visit and the percentage of discharged patients.


The studied patients made a total of 1341 outpatient visits between November 1985 and December 1998 with an average of 13.3 visits per patient (median of 11 visits). Almost two thirds of the group still attend for regular follow up. The greatest number of visits occurred in the first 24 months after surgery. The commonest reasons for outpatient visits were the removal of the clinical features of chronic cavity inflammation. Residual/recurrent cholesteatoma, residual perforations and structural cavity problems were infrequent.


CWD mastoidectomy carries an intrinsic morbidity resulting in a long term attendance in the outpatients.