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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The history of mastoid surgery.

Adam Politzer wrote this article on the history of mastoid surgery for inclusion in Volume II of his History of Otology, Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, 1913. Politzer reviews the decades before antibiotics when the simple or complete mastoidectomy was performed in cases of acute mastoiditis in which abscess formation was suspected; such timely surgery after prevented extensive osseous destruction and also often-fatal meningitis and sinus thrombosis. So-called "radical" surgery began when surgeons realized that simple exposure of the antrum was inadequate to control chronic infection involving the middle ear, ossicles, and meatal walls. "Modified radical" surgery evolved from the attempt to preserve hearing, canal plasty from the attempt to prevent postoperative canal stricture. Politzer describes the surgery designed to close the tympanic ostium of the Eustachian tube and the application of skin grafts to the operative sites.[1]


  1. The history of mastoid surgery. Milstein, S. The American journal of otology. (1980) [Pubmed]
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