What is the ear drum?
The drum is a piece of membrane that separates the middle ear from the external ear canal. Behind the drum there is a place that is full of air. This is the middle ear cavity. The sound goes in this space through a chain of bones and towards the inner ear. In the middle ear cavity opens the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube reaches the back of the nose. It is normally closed. Swallowing opens it to keep the pressure in the middle ear constant.
Why do I need surgery?
The ear drum has a hole in it. The hole will not close by itself.
What will the surgery do for me?
It can improve your hearing and prevent infections. Germs can pass through the hole especially if water enters the ear. It means you can swim without worrying that they will infect your ears.
Can something serious occur during surgery?
Serious complications are very rare. The graft may be rejected by your body. This occurs in approximately 10% of patients. Your hearing may deteriorate. Severe hearing loss may occur, but it is very unusual.
How long will I be in the hospital and how much time off from work?
Usually you stay in the clinic overnight. You need to take time off, two weeks from work.
Will sleep during the surgery?
Yes. This is called general anesthesia.
How is the surgery done?
We make an incision behind the ear. We take a small piece of tissue (graft) that will use to close the hole in your eardrum. It takes about an hour.
Will I have a bandage?
Yes, a light bandage overnight.
Will I have something in my ear then?
Your ear will have a dressing in it which will be removed in 2-3 weeks.
Will I have stitches?
You will have stitches in the area of incision. The stitches do not need to be removed.
Will I have pain after surgery?
There is usually little pain. DO NOT take aspirin. You can take paracetamol if needed.
What will I feel after surgery?
You will feel your ear flooded for several weeks. You may feel a little dizzy the first day. You may have fluid in the ear canal.
What should I avoid then?
Do not blow your nose loudly. This can damage the graft.
Try not to let the ear or wound get wet.
Avoid excessive activity and avoid heavy lifting for 10-15 days.
Swim after 6-8 weeks.
Avoid air travel for 4 weeks.