Middle Ear Surgery

The middle ear consists of the ear canal, the three bones of the ear, the malleus, incus, and stapes, and the eardrum. Middle ear surgery can address problems with any of these areas, including infections, a perforated eardrum, damage, as well as congenital issues related to the bones.

What is the general procedure for middle ear surgery?

Typically, small incisions are made behind the ear to provide access to the affected area. Most surgeries take one to two hours and can be performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. In some cases, you may be admitted and required to stay overnight. Some surgeries are closed with absorbable sutures, with no follow-up surgery required.

What is the procedure for a tympanoplasty?

The eardrum is formally known as tympanic membrane. A tympanoplasty is done to repair a tear or hole in the tympanic membrane. Your surgeon will remove the ragged edges of the tear, then place absorbable padding in the middle ear. Tissue will be taken from the chewing muscles (temporalis) and grafted onto the tear to close it. The success rate for a tympanoplasty is approximately 90 percent.

What is the procedure for an ossiculoplasty?

An ossiculoplasty (from the Latin “os” for bone) repairs any of the small bones of the middle ear, which are commonly known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup because their shape resembles these items. The surgery is performed to improve conductive hearing loss. The repair is done either by repositioning the bones or by inserting a plastic prosthesis. The success rate for improving hearing varies based on which bones are affected but ranges from 50 to 90 percent.

What is the procedure for a stapedectomy?

Calcium can form around the stirrup and may cause hearing loss. In a stapedectomy, an argon laser is used to remove the stirrup, which is replaced by a small, metal piston to maintain conductivity. The success rate for improving hearing loss is 98 percent.

What is the procedure to treat severe infections?

Depending on the portion(s) of the middle ear that has been affected, how they have been affected, and the severity of the infection, a combination of surgical repairs may be performed.

ear exam with otoscope

Am I a candidate for middle ear surgery?

If you are experiencing hearing loss, dizziness, or pain around or in your ear, call Mueller Surgery Center for a consultation.

Why choose Dr. Leeman and the Mueller Surgery Center?

Dr. Leeman is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who, in tandem with Dr. Spinuzza, a highly experienced Doctor of Audiology provides the highest standards of care for patients with hearing loss. We have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, as well as an onsite lab and CT scan right in the office, reducing your travel time and the time required for planning while waiting for test results and treatment.

What is the recovery time?

Dr. Leeman or Dr. Smith will provide detailed instructions unique to you, but typically you:

  • Can return to work within a week.
  • Should keep the area dry and avoid strenuous exercise, blowing your nose, and other activities that would cause undue pressure in your ear.
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