Mastoid air cells are open, air-containing spaces in one of the skull bones.
An infection of the mastoid air cells that cannot be controlled with antibiotics may call for surgical treatment.
A mastoidectomy is the surgical removal of these mastoid air cells; the surgery may extend into the middle ear.
Reviewed By: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.