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Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure that is mostly performed to repair any type of perforation in the eardrum. The perforation might have been caused due to various reasons including penetration by a foreign object, infections of the ear or even a prior surgery or trauma. In most such cases, the best way to rectify the damage and minimize the effect on hearing ability is through surgery.

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How the surgery is performed?

  • The tympanoplasty is performed by qualified ear surgeons.  The surgery is to place a graft (mostly, taken from the patient himself under the skin) under the perforation to make it possible for it to heal in a natural manner by providing a scaffold for the edges of the perforation.
  • The opearation need incision  infront (preaural) or back (postaural) of the ear or trans the ear canal (endaural).
  • The next phase involves raising a flap of the ear canal skin with the ear drum to gain access to the middle ear. The graft is then placed under the ear drum in a manner that covers the perforation. This graft acts as a scaffold for the edges of the perforation allowing them to gradually heal over.
  • The placement of the graft is followed by stuffing the ear with dressing, generally in two layers, and then the incision is finely stitched. The whole process is completed in no more than one hour and is mostly performed under local or general anaesthesia as a day procedure. Only in some rare cases are the patients required to stay overnight at the medical care facility.

 Tympanoplasty procedures types:

  • The exact type of surgery that a patient might require depends on factors such as the age of the patient, the reason for perforation, location and size of the perforation and the history of any previous ear surgery that the patient might have undergone. Given below are the brief details of the different types of this surgical procedure:
    • Patch myringoplasty
      • For traumatic new drum tearing by putting paper or biologic patch on the perforation edges.
      • The procedure generally does not cause too much pain and the healing time is about 6 weeks. However, during this time it is essential for the patients to avoid water penetration into the ear.
    • Fat myringoplasty
      •  A minor procedure in which the perforation of the eardrum is treated by placing a small amount of fat (taken from the ear lobule) through the hole. The procedure takes around 15 minutes to complete and the ear lobe is sutured to prevent any chances of infection.
    • Medial Tympanoplasty or under lay technique
      • This is somewhat complicated procedure which is usually performed in an operating theatre under general anaesthesia. In this procedure an incision is made in the ear canal or behind the ear and the surgeon might also repair any damage to the bones of the middle ear during this single procedure. It is completed in about 1-2 hours.
    • Lateral Tympanoplasty or overlay technique
      • This to put the graft lateral to ear drum.
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