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April 1958

The Schwartze Mastoidectomy: Its Value at the Present Time

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(4):417-423. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010429006

It has been the general experience all over the world that antibiotics have sharply reduced the number of cases which need a Schwartze mastoidectomy.

My own experience in 1951 was that 12 cases needed operation, out of 161 patients admitted to hospital. Even this number is probably too high, and includes some unnecessary operations, as I hope to show later, but it forms a strong contrast to the figures published in 1924 from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, when 87 operations were performed in 249 cases. I have chosen these two dates because penicillin was generally used in 1948, whereas in 1924 neither penicillin nor sulfonamides had been discovered.

Before going into more detail, I should perhaps describe the conditions under which I work, because there is no doubt that the number of mastoid operations which are needed depends on the general intelligence and standard of living of the population, and

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