What to expect following Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty, with or without mastoidectomy involves surgery of the middle ear and eardrum. Surgery is performed for several possible reasons including correcting a perforated eardrum, removing infection, cholesteatoma, and or repairing the small bones of hearing (the ossicles). Mastoidectomy where by infection of the bone behind the ear is cleaned may also be required.

The procedure takes place under general anesthesia and may last any where from 1-3 hours. The surgery may be performed directly through the ear canal or through an incision behind the ear. The ear canal is packed with an absorbable material which is dissolved by the placement of ear drops twice daily for the weeks following surgery. If an incision has been made behind the ear, dissolvable sutures are used and should be treated with an antiobiotic ointment such as Bacitracin OTC once or twice daily until completely healed.

A dressing is placed over the ear on the day of surgery and the patient should follow up in the office the following day for dressing removal, initiation of ear drops and further instructions. Pain medicines are utilized for 1-2 days following surgery and antibiotics given for approximately five days. The patient can usually return to work after three days depending on the type of work.

No smoking is permitted for the two months following surgery and should be withheld at least one month prior.  Flying should be avoided for at least three weeks following surgery.

Water should not enter the canal until cleared by your physician. It takes approximately two months for the eardrum to heal and may take longer depending on the circumstance surrounding surgery.

Risks of surgery include but are not limited to infection, need for further surgery (<10%), worsening hearing loss, dizziness, facial nerve paralysis , taste disturbance, stroke, and spinal fluid leak (all <0.01%).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with your surgeon.