Within the middle ear is the eardrum. If you attend a concert at Palace Theatre and stand near a speaker without hearing protection, you run the risk of rupturing your eardrum. If the tear is minor, you may be able to let it heal on its own, but if it’s severe, it may require surgery.
Types of Middle Ear Surgery
There are three types of middle ear surgery that may be performed.
This procedure is performed only for small tears. It entails patching the hole with gel or tissue. Myringoplasty takes only 15 to 30 minutes and can be performed under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office.
Tympanoplasty is performed when the tear is large or if you have a chronic ear infection that doesn’t respond to antibiotics. For the procedure, a surgeon uses a laser to remove excess tissue or scarring built up in the middle ear. Then, a small piece of tissue is grafted from a vein or muscle sheath onto your eardrum. This procedure takes two to three hours and is generally performed under general anesthesia in a hospital.
Ossiculoplasty is a procedure that is performed when the three small bones inside the middle ear – the ossicles – have been damaged by an ear infection or trauma. It involves replacing the bones with those from a donor or with prosthetics and is performed under general anesthesia.
Preparing for Middle Ear Surgery
Before a middle ear surgery, you should tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you are taking, as well as your known allergies. If you’re feeling sick leading up to the procedure, it may need to be rescheduled.
Your doctor will likely tell you to avoid eating and drinking the night before and the morning of the surgery. They will also instruct you which medications are safe to take and when you should arrive at the hospital.
Recovering from Middle Ear Surgery
After surgery, your doctor will place packing and a bandage over your ear to protect it. Leave it on until the doctor says it’s safe to remove it.
It’s also important to prevent water from entering the ear while recovering. Avoid swimming and wear earplugs when showering. Do not pop your ears, blow your nose or sneeze with your mouth closed.
For more information about middle ear surgery or to schedule an appointment, call the ear experts at Albany ENT & Allergy Services!