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What happens during surgery to repair a hole in the eardrum?

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Quick Answer

Surgery to repair a small eardrum hole involves patching the hole using gel or a paper-like tissue, according to Healthline. To fix a large hole, doctors usually perform tympanoplasty, which requires the use of a laser to remove extra tissue that has accumulated in the middle ear.

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Full Answer

Repairing a small hole in the eardrum typically lasts for 10 to 30 minutes and involves local anesthesia, states Healthline. When performing tympanoplasty, doctors administer general anesthesia for a painless operation while the patient is unconscious.

After removing extra tissue in the middle ear, the doctor closes the hole by obtaining a tiny piece of tissue from the patient's muscle sheath or vein and grafting the tissue onto the affected eardrum, explains Healthline. He uses instruments that pass through the patient's ear canal and creates a small incision behind the ear. Tympanoplasty lasts for two to three hours.

Ossiculoplasty aims to repair the small bones in the middle ear that have been impaired by trauma or an ear infection, notes Healthline. A doctor performs the surgery after administering general anesthesia, and he uses prosthetic devices or bones from a donor to replace the damaged bones. Most patients go home on the same day of an eardrum repair surgery. They usually keep cotton packing in the ear for up to seven days to protect the ear.

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