What is a Tympanoplasty?

The Tympanic Membrane (Eardrum). Photo © A.D.A.M.

Question: What is a Tympanoplasty?


A tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure generally used to repair a ruptured ear drum but sometimes involves the repair of the tiny bones in the inner ear. A ruptured ear drum can be caused by an ear infection, barotrauma or injuries to the ear. The ear drum is repaired using a tissue graft, often made of adipose (fat) tissue. Before surgery you will probably be instructed to keep water out of your ears.

A tympanoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day you have surgery. After surgery you should avoid blowing your nose, keep your mouth open when you sneeze, keep water out of your ears and avoid lifting anything over ten pounds. Depending on how extensive the tympanoplasty is and the method used during surgery, a tympanoplasty can take weeks to months to heal. Approximately 2 to 3 months after the surgery, you should have a hearing test. Tympanoplasty is considered more successful in adults than children.

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