Myringoplasty is an operation performed to repair a hole in the ear drum. Holes in the eardrum are usually cause by infection or trauma and are associate with decreased hearing acuity, dizziness or intermittent discharge from the ear. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic.

Hole in the Ear Drum

Depending on the site of the hole, an incision or cut is made either behind the ear or in the ear canal. Tissue is harvested from the region of the temple and grafted to the eardrum to repair the hole.

The operation takes about 2 hours, involved packing in the ear for about 3 – 4 days and one day of hospitalisation.

It is uncommon to do this procedure in children under the age of 5. The operation is most commonly performed in older children or young adults.

Myringoplasty or tympanoplasty type one is a descriptive term used for operations to repair chronic holes in the eardrum that do not heal.

The disadvantage of having a chronic in the eardrum is that it not only reduced hearing significantly, but increases the number of infective episodes, each of which may damage the nerve of hearing. If a perforation has not healed in a dry, clean ear after a period of 4 to 6 months, if the Eustachian tube function in the other ear is normal, if an attempt has been made to stimulate closure of the whole by stimulating the edges under local anaesthesia, consideration should be given to reparative surgery.

After Myringoplasty

Reparative surgery can be undertaken via a number of surgical roots, using a number of different materials. The operation can be done down the ear canal without any cuts, in which case it is known as a trans-canal myringoplasty. There may be a little cut in the ear canal skin and this is called an end aural approach or sometimes the cut is made behind the ear and this is called a post-auricular approach.

The most common tissues used for grafting are from the patients own body and may be the fascia over the temporalis muscle (temporalis fascia), a little bit of cartilage or perichondrium from the tragus or occasionally, a composite graft of cartilage and perichondrium.

Synthetic materials such as gelatin foam, Duraderm and various synthetic collagen based substances are occasionally used.

For the closure of small perforations, particularly those that persist after myringotomy and insertion of grommet, sometimes ear lobe fat is used.

The grafts can be placed under the eardrum, that is to say, the eardrum is rolled forward, and graft material is placed on the middle ear side of the eardrum, which is known as an underlay graft. Sometimes, the flaps are raised and the graft material is put on the outer side of the eardrum, which is called an overlay graft.

If you require surgical repair of a hole in your eardrum, we are happy to discuss the potential benefits and advantages of the various techniques and discuss with you what we consider most appropriate for your case.

The operation is done under general anaesthesia, takes about an hour and a half and is often done as a day stay. The ear canal is packed for 5 days, you must keep the ear dry and clean for 2 weeks, refrain from flying or diving or vigorous nose blowing for a month.

If you would like to know more about the operation or you need Myringoplasty to repair your eardrum, please feel free to book an appointment via the booking form on the right of the page.