Tympanic Membrane Reconstruction
A tympanoplasty is an ear surgery performed by Dr. Paine to repair a hole in the tympanic membrane—better known as the eardrum. A hole can develop in the eardrum as a result of a previous surgery, infection, or injury to the inside of the ear. When this happens, the patient may experience some extent of hearing loss and there may be a risk of an infection spreading. Dr. Paine can perform a tympanoplasty to help patients restore proper functioning of the eardrum.
Should You Consider a Tympanoplasty?
Holes or perforations of the eardrum can cause serious problems such as hearing loss and chronic otorrhea (infection of the middle ear). A tympanoplasty is necessary when holes in the tympanic membrane do not heal on their own or with other medical treatments.
When left untreated, patients may be at risk of chronic infections such as cholesteatoma as well as low or high frequency hearing loss. It is important to treat these perforations quickly to prevent serious problems from occurring. Dr. Paine will carefully analyze your situation to determine if tympanoplasty is the right procedure for you.
The Tympanoplasty Procedure
Your tympanoplasty will be performed under general anesthesia. In order to repair the tympanic membrane, Dr. Paine will first need to determine the cause and size of the hole or perforations. He will then perform either a patch, fat, medial, or lateral tympanoplasty to repair the tympanic membrane.
A patch tympanoplasty is performed by placing a biologic tissue paper patch over the hole. The patch is held in place by gently irritating the edge of the hole so that a drop of blood adheres to the patch. This procedure is quick and causes little pain to the patient.
A fat typmpanoplasty involves freezing the ear lobe to remove a minor amount of fat. This fat is then used to seal up the hole within the tympanic membrane. Sutures are used to seal the donor site of the ear lobe.
A medial tympanoplasty is a slightly more invasive approach, which requires incisions made in the ear canal to place a tissue graft from the ear muscle beneath the ear-drum. Dr. Paine may widen the ear canal for this procedure.
A lateral tympanoplasty will be necessary to repair larger holes in the tympanic membrane. This procedure will remove parts or all of the original eardrum and use a fascia graft to create a new one. This graft will be taken from behind the outer ear.
After Your Tympanoplasty
It is normal to experience some discomfort and sensitivity of the ear following your surgery. Dr. Paine will provide you with prescription pain medications and antibiotics to help you through the recovery process. Following your tympanoplasty, you should notice a gradual improvement in your hearing.
Contact our office today to schedule your tympanoplasty consultation with West Virginia ENT specialist and board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. A. James Paine, Jr.