Ear Drum Repair

General Information & Complications

ear drum repair

Holes in the eardrum may be caused by a variety of disorders including trauma from cotton-tipped applicators, spontaneous rupture from middle ear infections, tumors, barotrauma, or multiple other causes.

Tympanoplasty is the medical name for the repair of the eardrum. It is frequently combined with other surgeries including, but not limited to, middle ear exploration or ossicular reconstruction.

Potential complications include, but are not limited to:

  • Permanent or temporary hearing loss.
  • Post-operative bleeding or other drainage from the ear or site of surgery.
  • Perforation or granulation of the eardrum requires additional surgeries.
  • Death, brain damage, temporary or permanent loss of an airway, paresthesias, neuralgias, or neuropraxia.
  • Need for further or additional surgery.
  • Scarring, anomalous appearance of the eardrum or middle ear structures, including injury to the ossicles.
  • Injury, accidental burns, or other injuries directly or not directly related to the procedure, infections at the site of the surgery, or insertion of IVs.
  • Adverse or unforeseen reactions to medications, drugs, or other agents commonly used for anesthesia or surgery.
  • Meningitis or mastoiditis.

Before Surgery

  • Do NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight before the surgery.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing the day of your surgery.
  • Have someone with you to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Do NOT take any medications with aspirin or blood thinners for TWO WEEKS before your surgery. Any other regular medications prescribed by your doctor for your heart, diabetes, blood pressure, etc., are ok to take before the surgery. Please bring these medications with you to the hospital on the day of the surgery. TYLENOL is ok to take for pain before surgery.
  • Please call if you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment for surgery.
  • Please pre-admit before your surgery. This avoids timely delays in getting your blood work results before surgery.

After Surgery

  • Do not blow your nose. Open your mouth to sneeze.
  • Clean your stitches with hydrogen peroxide daily and apply Bacitracin ointment.
  • Your hearing will be worse initially, this is normal.
  • You will hear popping sounds, this is normal and it will subside.
  • You will have drainage from the ear for several days, this is normal and will subside.
  • No flying, strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, or scuba diving until instructed by your doctor.
  • Schedule a post-op appointment for two weeks after the surgery.
  • If you experience any symptoms that are not listed that you feel are significant, please call immediately.