The subject upon which I wish to speak has been so thoroughly considered during the past few years, it would be manifestly impossible for me to give more than my own personal experience in regard to it. What I wish particularly to emphasize, however, is the advisability of early operation in doubtful cases, and to show by my own statistics that the procedure itself is practically free from danger.
At the present time the general surgeon does not hesitate to open the abdominal cavity for diagnostic purposes. In the same way, I believe the otologist is perfectly justified in exploring the mastoid cells, whenever there is the slightest evidence of an inflammatory process. In the vast majority of cases, the signs are so well marked that a diagnosis can be easily made. In some, however, especially in those patients in whom the pneumatic cells of the mastoid are well developed,
DENCH EB. THE RESULTS OF THE SURGICAL TREATMENT OF INFLAMMATION OF THE MASTOID PROCESS.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(9):542–543. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470090006002