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Additional Ear Procedures

Eardrum Surgery

Eardrum surgery (tympanoplasty) is reconstructive surgery for torn tympanic membranes (eardrums) or ossicles (middle ear bones). Eardrum tears may result from chronic infection or, less commonly, from trauma to the eardrum. Eardrum Surgery can also help to restore hearing, treat certain types of deafness, and prevent middle ear infections.

Eardrum surgery can be performed through the ear canal or an incision behind the ear. Tympanic membrane grafting may be required, in which a graft is taken from tissue under the skin around the ear to reconstruct the eardrum. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthetic.

Ear Fluid Removal

Ear fluid removal (myringotomy) is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to remove fluid from the middle ear. The fluid is usually caused by an infection or allergies. In many cases, a small ear tube is inserted into the eardrum to maintain the drainage.

Ear fluid removal is performed to relieve pressure due to chronic fluid buildup in the middle ear that has not responded to other treatments. Although some adults may undergo this operation, myringotomies are most often performed on children. The procedure is usually carried out on an outpatient basis with a general anesthetic. Some adults may only require a local anesthetic.

Hearing Loss Surgery

Hearing loss surgery (stapedectomy) is a surgical procedure in which the innermost bone (stapes) of the three middle ear bones is removed and replaced with a prosthesis (a small plastic tube surrounding a stainless-steel wire). This is performed to improve the movement of sound to the inner ear.

Hearing loss surgery treats progressive hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, a condition in which spongy bone hardens around the base of the stapes. Otosclerosis causes the stapes to adhere to the opening of the inner ear, preventing the stapes from vibrating properly and disrupting the transmission of sound to the inner ear. If otosclerosis remains untreated, it often results in complete deafness, usually in both ears.

Ear Infection Treatment

Ear infection treatment (mastoidectomy) is the surgical removal of an infected portion of the mastoid bone (the prominent bone behind the ear) when medical treatment is not effective. The need for this surgery is relatively rare today due to the use of antibiotics.

Ear infection treatment is performed to remove infected air cells within the mastoid bone caused by mastoiditis, ear infections, or cholesteatoma (an inflammatory disease of the middle ear). The air cells are open spaces that are located throughout the mastoid bone. They are connected to a cavity in the upper part of the bone that is connected to the middle ear. Infections in the middle ear can therefore spread through the mastoid bone, making surgery necessary if antibiotics do not work. A mastoidectomy may also be performed to repair paralyzed facial nerves.

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