Steps of tympanoplasty

tympanoplasty surgery steps

Table of Contents

How is a tympanoplasty performed?

How long does tympanoplasty surgery take?

What is the difference between tympanoplasty and Myringoplasty?

What can you not do after tympanoplasty?
Tympanoplasty surgery steps

A tympanoplasty is performed if the hole in your eardrum is large or if you have a chronic ear infection that cannot be cured with antibiotics. You will most likely be in the hospital for this surgery and will be placed under general anesthesia. You will be unconscious during this procedure.

First, the surgeon will use a laser to carefully remove any excess tissue or scar tissue that has built up in your middle ear. Then, a small piece of your own tissue will be taken from a vein or muscle sheath and grafted onto your eardrum to close the hole. The surgeon will either go through your ear canal to repair the eardrum, or make a small incision behind your ear and access your eardrum that way.

This procedure typically takes two to three hours.

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How is a tympanoplasty performed?

A graft consisting of cartilage, fat (often harvested from behind the ear), or fascia (tissue overlaying muscle) is used to reconstruct the eardrum. Depending on the size and location of the perforation, tympanoplasty can be performed in the procedure room under local anaesthetic. In this case, the surgeon enters through the external ear canal.

In more complex cases, tympanoplasty may be performed in the operating room under general anaesthetic. In the operating room, the surgeon may decide to either make a small incision above the ear canal to approach the repair (endaural incision) or they can go behind the ear (post-auricular).

How long does tympanoplasty surgery take?

Tympanoplasty usually takes from 2 to 3 hours. Recovery from general anesthetic can take several hours. Your child might be prescribed medications after the surgery.

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What is the difference between tympanoplasty and Myringoplasty?

The difference between tympanoplasty and myringoplasty is that tympanoplasty is (surgery) reconstructive surgery to the middle ear or eardrum while myringoplasty is (surgery) the closure of the perforation of pars tensa of the tympanic membrane.

What can you not do after tympanoplasty?

  • Avoid sudden head movements and bending over for the first 2 or 3 days after surgery. These actions may make you dizzy.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for about 2 to 4 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay.
  • For 2 to 4 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include a child, heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not fly in an airplane, swim, scuba dive, or play contact sports until your doctor says it is okay. These activities could prevent your eardrum from healing correctly.
  • Do not get water in your ear for 1 to 3 months, or until your doctor says it is okay. You can take baths, but do not shower or get water near your ear until the packing is removed. When you bathe, plug your ear with a cotton ball lightly coated in petroleum jelly to keep water out. Do not use plastic earplugs that go into the ear canal while you have packing in your ear. Use only the earplugs that your doctor recommends.
  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover. For the first week, sleep with your head up by using 2 or 3 pillows. You can also try to sleep with your head up in a reclining chair.
  • Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
  • Most people are able to go back to work or their normal routine in about 1 to 2 weeks. But if your job requires strenuous activity or heavy lifting, you may need to take 2 to 4 weeks off.

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