Commonly called eardrum repair, Tympanoplasty refers to a surgery performed to reconstruct a perforated tympanic membrane or small bones located in the middle ear. Eardrum perforation may be due to severe infections or from trauma to the eardrum. Perforations occur as a result of defects in elastic collagen fibres. Small perforations heal by themselves spontaneously. But if the damage is severe as in the case of a trauma, a slap in the ear or an explosion, spontaneous healing may not occur and surgical intervention may be required to rectify the defect.
Tympanoplasty is performed to repair a perforated eardrum and occasionally the middle ear bones. Tympanic membrane grafting is required where tissue on the lobe of the ear or synthetic materials may be used for this purpose. The surgery may be performed under local or general anaesthesia. During the surgical process, an incision is made in the ear canal. The ear drum is lifted forward so as to enable viewing through a microscope. If the perforation is large or the hole is not visible, an incision is made behind the ear. Once the hole is located, the perforated area is rotated forward, bones are checked and dead tissues are removed. For grafting, tissues are taken from the lobe of the ear or a vein, thinned, dried and inserted underneath the remaining unaffected portion of the eardrum. Care is taken to ensure that the perforation is closed. Very thin layer of tissues are placed on top of the graft to prevent it from sliding. All the incisions made are sutured and the ear is dressed.