Eardrum Repair Surgery (Tympanoplasty)



Eardrum repair is a surgical procedure used to fix a hole or tear in the eardrum, also regarded as the tympanic membrane. This surgery can as well be used to repair or replace the three tiny bones at the back of the eardrum.

The eardrum is a tiny membrane between your outer ear and your middle ear that vibrates when sound waves reach it. Recurring ear infections, surgery, or trauma may lead to injury to your eardrum or middle ear bones that must be repaired with surgery. Injury to the eardrum or middle ear bones can result in hearing loss and a high danger of ear infections.

Types of eardrum repair surgical procedures


Myringoplasty is done if the hole or tear in your eardrum is small, your doctor may first try to patch the hole with gel or a paper-like tissue. This procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes and can always be done in the doctor’s office with only local anesthesia.


A tympanoplasty is carried out if the hole in your eardrum is large or if you have a chronic ear infection that cannot be treated with antibiotics. You will most probably be hospitalized for this surgery and will be placed under general anesthesia. You will be unconscious at the time of the procedure.

First, the surgeon will use a laser to cautiously remove any excess tissue or scar tissue that has built up in your middle ear. Then, a small piece of your own tissue will be taken from a vein or muscle sheath and grafted onto your eardrum to cover the hole. The surgeon will either go through your ear canal to repair the eardrum, or make a small incision at the back of your ear and access your eardrum that way. This procedure normally takes two to three hours.


An ossiculoplasty is perormed if the three tiny bones of your middle ear, known as the ossicles, have been damaged by ear infections or trauma. This surgical procedure is also carried out under general anesthesia. The bones can be substituted either by using bones from a donor or by using prosthetic devices.

Complications from eardrum repairs

There are dangers involved with any type of surgery. This can include bleeding, infection at the surgical operation site, and allergic reactions to medications and anesthesia given during the procedure.

Complications from eardrum repair surgery are uncommon but can include:

partial healing of the hole in your eardrum
moderate or severe hearing loss
damage to your facial nerve or the nerve in charge of your sense of taste
damage to the bones of your middle ear, leading to hearing loss
cholesteatoma, which is an bizarre skin growth behind your eardrum

Preparing for an eardrum repair

Tell your doctor about any medicines and supplements you are taking. You should also let them know about any allergic reactions you may have, including those to medications, latex, or anesthesia.  Make sure to inform the doctor if you are feeling sick. In this condition, your surgery may need to be shifted.

You will in all likelihood be asked to avoid eating and drinking after middle of the night the night before your surgery. If you have to take medications, take them with just a small sip of water. Your doctor will inform you on what to do you what time to arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery.

After an eardrum repair procedure

At the end of the surgery, your doctor will fill your ear with cotton packing. This packing has to remain in your ear for five to seven days after the surgery. A bandage is usually placed over your whole ear to protect it. People who undergo an eardrum repair procedure are generally released from the hospital right away.

You may be given ear drops after the surgical procedure. To apply them, gently take away the packing and put the drops in your ear. Replace the packing and do not put anything else in your ear.

Try to prevent water from getting into your ear during recovery. Avoid swimming and put on a shower cap to keep water out when you bathe. Don't “pop” your ears or blow your nose. If you feel like sneezing, do so with your mouth open so that force does not build up in your ears.

Stay away from crowded places and people who may be sick. If you catch a cold after surgery, it could increase your chances of contracting an ear infection.

After surgery, you may feel shooting pain in your ear or you may additionally feel as though your ear is filled with liquid. You may as well hear popping, clicking, or other sounds in your ear. These symptoms are generally mild and improve after a few days


In a lot of cases, eardrum repairs are very successful. More than ninety percent of patients recover from tympanoplasty with no complications. The outcome of the surgery may not be as good if the bones of your middle ear to be repaired in addition to your eardrum.

DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by

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