Home > Plastic Surgery > A Brief Overview of Eardrum Perforations and Tympanoplasty

A Brief Overview of Eardrum Perforations and Tympanoplasty

An otolaryngologist at Portland Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, Dr. Suzanne Cleland-Zamudio specializes in advanced ear, nose, and throat care for children and adults. Suzanne Cleland-Zamudio provides a wide range of services to her patients, one of which is tympanoplasty.

Tympanoplasty is a common procedure that repairs eardrum perforations. Perforated holes can occur due to surgical procedures, ear infections, cotton swab damage, and other causes. Eardrum perforations may have an effect on hearing, depending on the location and size of the hole on the eardrum. Typically, these perforations are not large and do not affect hearing. Not all eardrum perforations require special treatment. When caused by an ear infection, the hole often closes on its own after a few days once the infection is clear.

Two types of surgical repairs exist for perforations that do not heal on their own. A patch myringoplasty is the simplest repair and involves simply filling in the hole with material to encourage normal healing. The tympanoplasty involves patching the hole with material that replaces the missing membrane. The material may be a graft that is taken from other similar tissue, although synthetic materials may be used for certain patients. This treatment is successful in the majority of cases, with more than 90 percent resulting in relief of pain and symptoms.

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