Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure done to repair the rupture in the tympanic membrane by placing a graft in the eardrum. The surgery aims to restore hearing loss by closing the perforation that could have resulted due to various reasons. Perforation refers to a tear or rupture in the tissue of an ear which separates the ear canal from the eardrum. An eardrum that has a hole or a piercing can result in mild to total hearing loss also making the ear prone to many ear infections. The best way to treat a perforated eardrum is Tympanoplasty. It is an invasive and safe procedure that aims to improve hearing by fixing the perforation in the eardrum, it is done through small incisions. Tympanoplasty does not leave any scars and prevents excessive bleeding during the surgery.

Also Read: Cholesteatoma: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

What Causes Eardrum Rupture?

The eardrum is a thin membrane placed in our ear canal. This membrane vibrates when sound waves pass through them thus helping transfer sound energy into the inner ear. A hole in the eardrum can be a result of the following conditions:

  • Exposure to loud sound: Overexposure to loud sounds such as blasts, noise, or loud music can put pressure on the eardrum, causing a tear in your eardrum
  • Barotrauma: Most likely barotrauma occurs during air travel or while scuba diving without gear and happens when excess pressure is exerted on the eardrum due to a change in the air pressure of the surrounding.
  • Trauma to the skull: Patients who suffer from a severe skull fracture may cause dislocation or damage in the middle ear, inner ear as well as eardrum.
  • Middle ear infection: A middle ear infection such as labyrinthitis if not treated on time causes an accumulation of fluids in the middle ear. This can put pressure on the eardrum causing it to rupture.
  • Middle ear cyst: Also called cholesteatoma, this kind of cyst is composed of skin cells and other debris. It can develop in the middle ear and can result in eardrum rupture.

Also Read: Ruptured Ear Drum: How To Restore Lost Hearing?

When Is Tympanoplasty Required?

If a perforation has been present for more than 3 months without infection or drainage chances of it closing by itself are remote, the doctor may recommend having the hole closed through the surgical process. Mucus-like discharge from the ear, tympanosclerosis, ringing in the ear or tinnitus, itching in the ear, hearing loss, and vertigo are also some of the reasons that an ENT advises Tympanoplasty.

Diagnostic Tests That Determine Perforated Eardrum

The ENT specialist advises several diagnostic tests to identify the extent of perforation in the eardrum. One of the important tests is tympanometry which measures the eardrum’s response to differences in air pressure. Audiology is also done to find out the intensity of sound the patient can hear at different volumes. A swab culture of the ear discharge to identify any infection in the ear is also done.


To cure a ruptured eardrum, some non-surgical methods can prove effective in managing the symptoms of a perforated eardrum, but they will not treat the perforated eardrum permanently. The doctor usually recommends antibiotic ear drops for minor perforation which can treat the infection but cannot close the hole. Tympanoplasty is considered one of the most effective treatment methods for this ailment. By giving local or general anesthesia, the ENT surgeon makes a minute incision behind the ear to repair the tympanic membrane with a graft taken from the body and repair the ruptured eardrum. A similar surgical method may also be done which includes eardrum patching with a chemical on the edges of the perforation. A synthetic patch is kept around the area of the tear to seal the eardrum hole.

Post Tympanoplasty Process

An outpatient procedure, Tympanoplasty takes between 40-60 minutes. The patient can go home on the same day of Tympanoplasty since it does not have many complications. While the patient is advised to rest for 4 to 5 days before they return to their normal life, complete recovery can take about a month depending on the medical condition of the patient.

Post-Surgery Tips

Some recommendations are given by the doctor post-surgery that should be followed. The patient should avoid blowing their nose too hard as it can put pressure on the eardrum. In case there is any inflammation, a light warm compress on the ear is recommended. Precaution must be taken to prevent water from entering the ear. Post-Tympanoplasty, air travel is prohibited for a few months. The ear canal should be kept clean, and dry to prevent any infection. Keeping a clean cotton ball in the ear canal will keep it safe and free from any infection. If the ear has bleeding or other drainages, inform the ENT at the earliest.