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Myringoplasty (Eardrum repair)

The operation

This is an operation to repair a hole in your eardrum. It is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The incision may be made in one of three places – your doctor will have discussed this with you. A graft is taken from tissue under the skin;this is used to repair the drum. The incision is sutured – they will usually dissolve by themselves. The ear canal is packed and a bandage may be applied.

What to expect after the operation

You will be given instructions about the wound. This usually involves placing Vaseline on any incision behind the ear. The ear will be plugged with yellow gauze impregnated with antiseptic, which is quite smelly. Some blood will come out of the ear. Please change the cotton wool regularly. Dr Grey will see you approximately 2 weeks following surgery to remove the plug.

Potential complications

The ear has a delicate mechanism and is surrounded by delicate structures. The doctor will have discussed these potential problems with you.

These include:

  1. Success rate 90%
  2. Hearing loss – usually hearing improves, but rarely may become worse depending upon the situation in your ear.
  3. Imbalance -not usually a longstanding problem.
  4. Taste disturbance – 10% of patients will have taste disturbance following the operation. In most patients this will settle down, but it may take one or two years.
  5. Facial weakness – rare.

*See discharge advice after MAJOR ear surgery.

If you have any concerns after discharge, please call our rooms on 9388 7474.


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