To find the incidence of complications of modified radical mastoidectomy and to evaluate different parameters that play a role in their causation, we conducted a retrospective study spanning a period of 12 years. Included were 210 patients who underwent primary modified radical mastoidectomies performed by one senior surgeon; of these patients, 163 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The charts were evaluated for patients' age and sex, laterality, intraoperative pathology, and complications. The complications were grouped into nine categories for analysis of their etiology. The results in this study were compared with those from other published reports. Complications were documented in 46 of 163 (28.2%) operated ears; 21 (45.7%) of them were noted in children <15 years of age, and 25 (54.3%) were found in adults. Sex and laterality were of no significance. The most common complication recorded was residual/recurrent cholesteatoma (20 [12.3%]), followed by meatal stenosis (11 [6.7%]). A moist cavity with discharging ear was noted in only 4 (2.5%) patients. No facial nerve palsies or dead ears were observed. Eleven (6.7%) patients had more than one complication. The parameters evaluated were size of the meatus, tympanic membrane appearance, status of the mastoid cavity, height of the facial ridge, and extent of the disease process. Complications can be caused by a number of factors, such as congenital anomalies, disease process, and the surgeon's skill. Each complication must be thoroughly evaluated for immediate management and to learn how to avoid it in the future.
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