Eardrum Repair

The eardrum is a membrane in the middle ear that vibrates as it collects sound and transmits these vibrations to the three bones in the middle ear. It also prevents debris from entering the ear. Eardrum repair is a surgical procedure that closes up any tear or perforation in the membrane.

What is the procedure for repairing an eardrum?

Two procedures can be used depending on the size of the perforation and what other areas of the middle ear may be affected: myringoplasty and tympanoplasty.

What is the procedure for a myringoplasty?

Myringoplasty comes from the Latin “myringa,” for eardrum. A myringoplasty is the placement of a paper patch or gel foam over the perforation to temporarily cover the tear, while the body heals itself.

The procedure is frequently performed using a laser. A myringoplasty is used for small holes and typically takes between 10 and 30 minutes in the office. It may be done with only local anesthesia.

What is the procedure for a tympanoplasty?

Tympanoplasty comes from the Ancient Greek, meaning “I strike,” “I hit.” The tympanic membrane is a thin layer of tissue that gathers sounds and vibrates to transmit the sounds to the small bones of the ear. Access to the tympanic membrane may be through the ear canal or via an incision behind your ear.

This is typically done in a hospital, requires general anesthesia, and takes two to three hours. To close the hole, tissue from another portion of your body, often the lining of the cheek muscle, will be grafted onto the tear to close the hole.

close up of man's ear

What should I expect after eardrum repair?

You will be wearing a head bandage overnight to keep the packing in your ear. This will also ensure the ear remains clean. It will be removed the following day. There may be some alteration to the taste of food following surgery, and the packing used in the repaired ear will impede your ability to hear on that side.

The packing will remain in your ear for about two weeks, and that is the recommended time you take off from work. It is also important that you keep the ear dry until given clearance by Dr. Leeman or Dr. Smith, and do not travel by plane until you have been informed by our doctors that your graft has healed.

Why choose Drs. Leeman and Spinuzza of the Mueller Surgery Center for your eardrum repair?

Dr. Leeman, a double board-certified plastic surgeon, and Dr.  Spinuzza, a well-respected Doctor of Audiology, have more than 20 years of experience successfully collaborating on the treatment of a wide variety of audio problems.

With state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, as well as a CT scanner and lab on site, we can provide you with a thorough and detailed consultation, as well as a treatment plan, without waiting for outside test results. This means that you can be well on your way to improved hearing quickly.

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