Procedure

Tympanoplasty- Ear Nose And Throat (ENT)

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Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure that can fix a perforated eardrum or tympanic membrane. This microsurgery utilizes the patient's own tissue as a graft to repair the  tympanic membrane. Tympanoplasty can prevent recurrent ear infections, can protect the middle ear and can improve the hearing capability of the patient.

Why is tympanoplasty required?

Ear perforations that have been there for a long time may prompt erosion of the bones of hearing, also known as ossicles. This can cause hearing loss. If there is mild hearing loss and hearing improves after the perforated eardrum is repaired, then the bones of hearing are still intact. However, when there is marked hearing loss, especially hearing loss that is not improved by eardrum repair, then it is likely that there may be damage to the bones of hearing. There is no real way to determine the status of the bones of hearing before the procedure.

Which doctor to consult?

Talk to an ENT (otorhinolaryngologist) surgeon, who will explain to you about the procedure, the risks and after-care.

What to expect during tympanoplasty?

Tympanoplasty is carried out as follows:

  • Anesthesia is given to the patient, after which an instrument, called an ear speculum, is inserted into the external ear canal and the operating microscope is placed on it.
  • A cut is made into the ear canal, and the eardrum is hoisted from the canal and lifted forward.
  • If the holes are large, a cut will be made behind the ear to give access to the perforation. When the hole is already visible, the bones are assessed.
  • If there is scar tissue, it is removed with small hooks or a laser. The graft is then embedded underneath the rest of the eardrum, which is collapsed back onto the perforation to close it.
  • If the cut is made behind, the ear is attached together

Post-operative care

The following should be done at home after the surgery:

  • Do not place water in the ear
  • Do not perform any vigorous activities a few weeks after the procedure
  • Do not travel in airplanes a few weeks after the procedure
  • Apply the ear drops as prescribed by your doctor
  • Take antibiotics that are prescribed by your doctor
  • Stay away from people with colds and flu to avoid these infections

Complications

After the procedure, the following complications may occur, though these are very uncommon:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Reactions to medicines
  • Dizziness
  • Worsening of hearing, or loss of hearing

Talk to your doctor about your risks and the side effects of this procedure.

References

  • Tympanoplasty - About Tympanoplasty Procedures - Sunnybrook Hospital. Sunnybrook.ca. https://sunnybrook.ca/content/?page=tympanoplasty-eardrum-procedure. Published 2019. Accessed January 14, 2019.
  • Tympanoplasty & Ossiculoplasty. Cortlandsurgical.com. http://cortlandsurgical.com/index.php/tympanoplasty-ossiculoplasty. Published 2019. Accessed January 14, 2019.
  • Dovemed.com. https://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-surgical/tympanoplasty/. Published 2019. Accessed January 14, 2019.
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