MYRINGOPLASTY / TYMPANOPLASTY
Pre operative instructions:
Plan for your care and recovery after the operation. Allow for time to rest and try to find people to help you with your day-to-day duties.
Do not take aspirin for a week before the operation, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
Follow any instructions your doctor may give you. Eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning before the procedure. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.
After 7 days, the stitches are removed. Gelfoam packing is removed after two weeks and a good evaluation can then be obtained as to whether the graft was successful. Water is kept away from the ear and blowing of the nose is discouraged. If there are allegies or a cold, further antibiotics and decongestant should be given. Most individuals can return to work after one to two weeks unless they perform heavy physical labor, in which case the patient can return after three weeks.
After three weeks, all packing is completely removed under the operating microscope in the office. It can then be determined whether the graft has fully taken. In over 98 percent of cases, the tympanoplasty procedure is successful and a hearing test is performed at six to eight weeks after the operation.
Failure of tympanoplasty can occur either from an immediate infection during the healing period, from water getting into the ear, or from displacement of the graft after surgery. Most patients 98% can expect a full "take" of the grafted eardrum and improvement in hearing. After two to three months, water can be allowed to enter the ear and the patient can even return to swimming.
Postoperative dizziness and imbalance can be present for about a week after surgery and are usually very mild. Dizziness is uncommon in operations that only involve the eardrum itself. It is more common if the ear bones has to be repaired or manipulated. Generally, all imbalance and dizziness will be resolved after a week or two.
Besides failure of the graft, there may be further hearing loss due to unexplained factors during the healing process. This occurs in less than one percent of individuals undergoing the operation.. A total hearing loss from tympanoplasty surgery is extremely rare.
Tinnitus or noises in the ear, particularly an echo-type feeling, may be present as a result of the perforation itself. Usually, with improvement in hearing and closure of the eardrum, these sensations clear up. However, tinnitus is unpredictable. In some cases, it can temporarily worsen after the operation. There is no explanation for this temporary situation, but it is rare for the tinnitus to be permanently worse after surgery.
A small nerve goes through the ear called the chorda tympani nerve. This nerve goes to the taste buds of the tongue. Should this nerve be stretched or cut during tympanoplasty surgery, there may be a transient period of one or two months after surgery where there is a slight metallic or salty taste to food. Generally, the nerve connections will regenerate and taste will return to normal. The abnormal taste sensation rarely lasts longer than six months.