Tympanoplasty refers to surgeries of the middle ear to address diseases such as hearing loss, chronic ear infection, and cholesteatoma. Some of the surgeries are done through the ear canal and some through a small incision behind the ear. One common indication for this surgery is a perforation in the ear drum. Below are the steps for one method of repairing a tympanic membrane (ear drum) perforation.
At times the middle ear bones known as the ossicles are damaged from disease as well and have to be replaced. This operation is called ossicular chain reconstruction and is performed as part of the tympanoplasty.
Schematic view of the right ear with a central perforation. A flap is created by making a small incision in the wall of the ear canal.
The flap is elevated down to the ear drum which is also elevated along with it to allow entry into the middle ear.
The ear drum and the flap are then placed back into their native position. The middle ear and ear canal are packed with absorbable material to hold the patch in place (not shown).
Images from Dr. Robert Jackler, used with permission.