Prompt, complete, spontaneous coverage of the postoperative mastoidectomy, tympanoplasty, or fenestration cavity by a continuous sheet of healthy keratinized squamous epithelium is the ideal result desired by the otologic surgeon. However, several factors may prevent the attainment of this goal. We know that incomplete epidermization of the cavity, recurrent contamination, and aural drainage are relatively common occurrences. Adequate and proper postoperative treatment will salvage some of these cavities and complete healing may occur. However, in spite of treatment, a fair proportion of them do not completely heal and recurrent drainage leads to dissatisfaction of the patient, even though an excellent result was otherwise obtained.
We maintain that the healing of these cavities can be controlled and postoperative purulent aural drainage avoided in the large majority of cases. Our definition of a healed cavity is one that is completely lined by a continuous sheet of keratinized squamous epithelium, as stated in
GUILFORD FR. Controlled Cavity Healing After Mastoid and Fenestration Operations. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;71(2):165–171. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archotol.1960.03770020037008
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