Tympanoplasty is surgery to repair/reconstruct the eardrum (tympanic membrane) usually due to a hole or perforation in the eardrum
There are several problems that can permanently damage an eardrum (tympanic membrane) or harm the small bones (ossicles) that are located right behind the eardrum. Chronic ear infections, trauma, and prior ear tube placement can cause perforations of the eardrum while leading to hearing loss and persistent drainage of the ear that does not resolve.
WHAT IS A TYMPANOPLASTY?
A tympanic membrane perforation is simply a hole in the eardrum. A tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure where the eardrum is reconstructed using a natural tissue graft from the patient’s body. This graft is usually tissue covering the muscle near the ear or cartilage from the ear itself. The procedure can often be done through the natural canal of the ear with a small incision behind the ear.
SYMPTOMS OF EARDRUM (Tympanic Membrane) PERFORATION
- Persistent ear drainage
- Hearing Loss
TREATMENTS FOR TYMPANIC MEMBRANE PERFORATION
When tympanic membrane perforations occur in both children and adults, they are initially observed for several months to allow the holes to spontaneously heal. If drainage occurs, it can temporarily be treated with antibiotic ear drops and by keeping the ear dry. If the perforation is persistent or chronically drains, a tympanoplasty is usually necessary. In children this is usually performed between ages 5-8 to allow the age at which ear infections occur to pass which could lead to failure of the graft and operation. The operation is almost always performed as an outpatient surgical procedure and requires the ear to remain dry for several weeks afterwards. The hearing is temporarily diminished as the eardrum is allowed to heal. The biggest drawback of tympanoplasty is that the tissue graft does not survive in 7-10% of cases and a revision surgery may be necessary.