Tympanoplasty is performed to reconstruct the eardrum aka tympanic membrane and/or the small bones of the middle ear aka ossicles. It can repair defects in the tympanic membrane with the placement of a graft. The main reason for the surgical procedure is not only to close the perforation but also to improve hearing. The success rate of the Tympanoplasty surgery depends on the capability to eradicate the disease from the middle ear. It can help with tympanic membrane perforation.
It's medically known as a hole or tear in the thin tissue that separates your ear canal from your eardrum. A ruptured eardrum can cause hearing loss, can also make your middle ear vulnerable to infections or injury. The same usually heals within a few weeks without treatment, however, a ruptured eardrum requires a surgical procedure to heal.
Before we go into the nook & cranny of tympanoplasty, we need to understand the role of the tympanic membrane. The eardrum has two primary roles:
- Hearing: The eardrum vibrates when sound waves strike it; it is the first step in the process of translation of sound waves into nerve impulses
- Protection: Eardrum acts as a barrier to protect the middle ear from water, bacteria and other foreign substances
Considering the importance of eardrum, it is clear that any big or small condition related to ears or eardrum should not be taken lightly. But how do we know its time to go to an ENT specialist?
What are the symptoms in which Tympanoplasty is recommended?
As mentioned above, surgery is used to treat a ruptured eardrum. If anyone has the same condition, they need to watch out for following signs and symptoms:
- Ear pain that may subside quickly or pus-filled or bloody drainage from your ear
- Hearing loss or ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
- Temporary hearing loss or perforated eardrum
- Middle ear cyst (cholesteatoma)
- Spinning sensation (vertigo); Nausea or vomiting as a result from vertigo
- Middle ear infection (otitis media)
- When stress exerted on your eardrum, the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are out of balance; in severe cases, the eardrum can rupture
- Scuba diving or a direct blow to the ear, the impact of an automobile airbag
- Acoustic trauma, loud sounds or blasts
- Foreign objects in your ear such as a cotton swab or hairpin can cause a tear the eardrum
- Severe head trauma or severe injury may inflict damage to middle ear structures
Are there different types of tympanoplasty?
Yes! There are 5 different types of tympanoplasty which are used under as per the severity of the conditions. The same are listed below:
- Type 1: Repair of the tympanic membrane alone; when the middle ear is fine
- Type 2: Repair of the tympanic membrane and middle ear
- Type 3: Removal of ossicles & epitympanum; in case of large defects of malleus & incus
- Type 4: Repair when the stapes footplate is movable, but the crura are missing
- Type 5: Repair of fixed stapes footplate
What is the procedure of Tympanoplasty?
Tympanoplasty is most commonly performed through the ear canal, through an incision either in the ear or behind the ear. A graft may be taken to reconstruct the eardrum which is placed at temporalis fascia and the tragus. The surgery performed through the ear canal generally takes 30-60 minutes, if an incision is required then it may take 60- 90 minutes. It is performed when the patient is under general anesthesia. The best part of tympanoplasty is its success-rate which is over 90%.
Is tympanoplasty a safe procedure?
Tympanoplasty is a safe and effective daycare procedure. It is used to remove all traces of the disease from the middle ear as well as restore hearing and middle ear function. Various surgical approaches and techniques are available for use by the surgeon.
So there are no complications!
Complications are associated with any or all types of surgeries. But, more often than not, the risk or complications during the surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon or an ENT specialist. If the procedure is performed by the best ENT specialists, the chances of the same are fewer. In several cases, the risk can heighten because the infection has spread to the brain.
To sum it up, there are complications associated with tympanoplasty but because of its advanced nature and success-rate, the chances of the same are fewer.