The tympanoplasty is an operation that aims to repair problems affecting the tympanic membrane (drilling), the ossicles (hearing loss) or both.
To repair the tympanic membrane, the otolaryngologist uses patient 's own tissue; It is placed as a patch to close holes or to strengthen weakened areas. Meanwhile, the ossicles that is affected is repaired with other small bones with cartilage, or prosthetic materials have shown good tolerance.
The intervention may be performed tympanoplasty inside the duct, without visible external incisions, or through an incision behind the ear. Sometimes even realizing it inside the duct, it can cause small incisions around it.
Typically, the incision is performed under local anesthesia and sedation, but in some cases it is preferable to use general anesthesia.
On the other hand, sometimes the repair of the ossicles is done in another operation a few months later, once we got a healthy ear.
Consequences of Tympanoplasty
The repair of the tympanic membrane has a success rate between 80 and 90%. The recovery of hearing loss is very variable, depending on the level of hearing before the operation and status of the ossicles.
On the other hand, the scars of the intervention are very visible and are not usually unsightly. As ear noises, often they remain unchanged, although they may worsen or improve.
During the tympanoplasty may occur the following situations:
- New perforated eardrum (10% chance).
- Complete loss of hearing in the ear treated in a 0'5-1% of cases.
- Facial paralysis (one out of 500 cases).
- 1 in 20 patients may have short - term facial paralysis as a result of local anesthesia
Alternatives to Tympanoplasty
The only alternatives to Tympanoplasty there is abstention to the operation along with close monitoring. In the case of a dry drilling can not ooze adopatarse an expectant attitude, although pierced ear has more risk of infections and hearing loss that is not perforated; so the operation is advisable.
If chronic suppuration the risk of hearing loss and other rare complications (mastoiditis, facial paralysis, meningitis, thrombophlebitis, etc.) intervention becomes necessary. Moreover, in case of loss of hearing, the eardrum is intact, the alternative is the adaptation of a hearing aid.