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Mastoid Dressing Supplies (Ear Surgery Covering Materials)

return to: Otology - Neurotology

see also: Canal Wall Reconstruction (Mastoidectomy)


  1. Mastoid dressings are used in an effort to prevent postsurgical complications following mastoidectomy or middle ear surgery. Their main purpose is to provide pressure against the wound, in an effort to prevent hematoma or seroma. (Armanian et al 2021)

  2. While the use of mastoid dressings is common practice, numerous publications report limited evidence of benefit, and the potential of added complications such as skin necrosis, pressure-induced headache, and periorbital edema. (Armanian et al 2021; Luo et al 2019; Gurgel et al 2012; O'brien et al 2018)


  1. [10x] Kerlix Super Sponges (6" x 6 3/4"; 2 packs of 5 works well)

  2. [3x] Dermacea Gauze Rolls (4" x 4 1/8 yd)

  3. [1x] Petroleum soaked gauze (3" x 18" or similar)

  4. [1x] Plastic zip-lock bag, large enough to accommodate the above

  5. Scissors

Kit Assembly

  1. Open 2 packs of super sponges (with 5 per pack, this gives you 10 total)

  2. Take one sponge and completely unfold until it is a single layer

  3. Lay this sponge flat on a working surface

  4. Take a second sponge and completely unfold until it is a single layer

  5. This time, loosely curl it into a ball and set on top of the sponge from step 3, in the middle

  6. Repeat with the remaining sponges until there is a ball of sponges in the middle of the bottom sponge

  7. Wrap the edges of the bottom sponge over the ball of sponges such that a soft pillow is formed

  8. Open 1 gauze roll

  9. Cut 3 strips about 18" in length

  10. Place the following in a plastic zip-lock bag:
    ​- The gauze pillow from step 7
    - The 3 strips from step 9
    - 2 unopened packages of gauze rolls
    - The remainder of the gauze roll that was cut for step 9
    - 1 unopened packet of petroleum-soaked gauze


Amanian A, Chadha NK, Pauwels J, Kozak FK. Mastoid pressure dressing - Current practice amongst Canadian pediatric cochlear implant surgeons. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Jul;146:110720. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2021.110720. Epub 2021 Apr 18. PMID: 33940316.

Luo SD, Su CY, Wu CM, Hwang CF. Mastoid pressure dressing for cochlear implantation--is it necessary? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jun;73(6):857-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.03.001. Epub 2009 Apr 11. PMID: 19362744.

Gurgel RK, Oghalai JS. Are mastoid pressure dressings necessary after otologic surgery to prevent postoperative hematomas? Laryngoscope. 2012 Mar;122(3):485-6. doi: 10.1002/lary.22472. PMID: 22354627.

O'Brien JX, Ruskin O, Price T. Pressure dressings in mastoid and middle ear surgery: are they necessary? A retrospective review of patient outcomes. ANZ J Surg. 2018 Oct;88(10):1047-1050. doi: 10.1111/ans.14370. Epub 2018 Jan 23. PMID: 29363249.