Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty refers to a surgical intervention performed for the purpose of repairing a defect in the tympanic membrane. Our experienced and caring staff will take all the necessary precautions to ensure the utmost comfortable experience for your child.

What is tympanoplasty?

The procedure is usually recommended for perforated eardrums that didn’t heal naturally. Before resorting to tympanoplasty, the otolaryngologist may try to seal the perforation with a patch for a smaller perforation. How for larger tympanic membrane perforation, tympanoplasty is required. The surgery entails placing a graft laterally or medially to the eardrum. The role of the surgical procedure is twofold and entails closing the perforation to promote faster healing and improve hearing.

What are the symptoms of a ruptured tympanic membrane?

It is highly recommended to call a physician as soon as the child accuses any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that subsides quickly
  • Drainage from the ear, either clear, discolored or bloody
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Vertigo

Before recommending surgery, the physician will perform several tests to dismiss the hypothesis that the child is suffering from an ear infection. Take note that operating on an actively infected ear is highly contraindicated.

What happens during the procedure?

Tympanoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The otolaryngologist will make an incision behind the ear lobe to extract some tissue and perform the operation. The tissue constitutes the graft used to cover the hole in the tympanic membrane. The operation lasts between 1 and 2 hours (depending on the size of the perforation) and requires stitches.  Stiches are self-absorbing.

Is tympanoplasty painful or risky?

Tympanoplasty is not a painful procedure. Following the surgery, the child may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate discomfort. As far as risks are concerned, tympanoplasty is considered a safe and effected procedure for perforated eardrums.

However, in very rare cases and particularly in situations when surgery is performed by an inexperienced physician, the following complication could develop:

  • Recurring infection
  • Partial or total hearing loss
  • Facial nerve injury
  • Tinnitus
  • Taste abnormalities
  • Dizziness

What does the post-care entail?

The first few days after the surgery, the child may feel fullness on the operated ear; these symptoms will subside on their own in just a few days. To ensure proper healing, parents should keep the child’s ear clean and dry. However, getting water in the ear or using cotton tip carriers are to be avoided at all costs. Lastly, parents should make sure the child doesn’t catch a cold, as sneezing or blowing the nose too hard could compromise with the healing process. Antibiotic ear drops will be prescribed for several weeks to enhance the healing process.

Because the middle and inner ear comprises of delicate mechanisms, it is highly advisable to seek medical assistance promptly. Dr. Samadi will perform a thorough medical examination of your child and will recommend the most appropriate course of action.