• 13 FEB 15

    Ear Surgery

    Surgical Terms


    Myringoplasty This refers to the repair of a hole in the
    ear-drum. The degree of difficulty depends on where the perforation
    is, but usually you can go home the same day.
    Tympanoplasty In this operation, the small bones of hearing are reconstructed as
    well as the ear-drum being repaired and reinforced. You may
    experience dizziness after this procedure, but usually it is
    Tympanotomy This means that the surgeon wants to look inside your ear to see
    if hearing can be improved. A special form of this is a
    Exostectomy This  refers to drilling out the bony swellings that grow in
    the ear canal from years of swimming in cold water. These can block
    the ear canal and cause water and wax entrapment and recurrent ear
    canal infections.
    Mastoidectomy This is a bigger operation in which the bone behind the ear is
    drilled away to make the ear safe. It can be done in several ways
    and the options will be discussed with you by your surgeon. This is
    usually for a condition called Cholesteatoma.
    Incisions The operation can be done through the ear canal directly
    (transcanal), using an incision in front of the ear canal (endaural)
    or from behind the ear (post-aural).
    Anaesthetic Sometimes local anaesthetic (LA) can be used, but the bigger
    operations are usually done under general anaesthetic (GA). Often
    you will be able to go home the same day, but an overnight stay will
    be needed in some circumstances, especially if there is any


    Post Operative Care:


    • Usually there is mild pain and discomfort. Mild painkillers like Paracetamol or Panadeine are sufficient. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Voltaren can be helpful.
    • Dizziness and tinnitus are common immediately after the surgery and settle down over the following days.
    • A metallic or cardboard like taste may be experienced that settles over the following weeks.
    • The incisions around the ear is closed with deep stitches, which absorb and usually do not require removal.
    • The ear is blocked with packing after the operation, so there will be decreased hearing and often a crackling sensation, especially on eating. Sometimes the packing is iodine based so looks yellow and infected but of course it isn’t. Any allergy to iodine should be reported. The packing is removed in the clinic after 1-2 weeks.
    • There may be a bandage on your head when you wake up after the operation but this is generally removed before you go home, and a light dressing applied to the ear.
    • The ear must be kept dry until healing is complete – your Surgeon will tell you when you can get the ear wet ie with hair washing or swimming.
    • Care with nose blowing and sneezing is important for the first 2-3 weeks after surgey.
    • Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed – seek medical advice if a smelly discharge develops, or if there is increasing pain.
    • Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks.
    • Full recovery of hearing takes time (up to 6 weeks), may require the ear to be cleaned using suction to remove debris and crusts, and in some cases long-term care will be needed.


    Complications of Ear Surgery


    • The most common would be failure of grafting of the ear-drum (10-20%) but usually the procedure can be repeated without too much risk to the ear.Infection can occur and cause failure of the graft, and rarely this can cause  permanent loss of hearing.
    • Serious complications include permanent damage to the inner ear often accompanied by vertigo or dizziness which lasts for a variable period of time and damage to the facial nerve which may be temporary from the local anaesthetic injected into the ear at the time of surgery. Rarely a permanent facial weakness can occur which may require surgical rehabilitation..
    • Any disturbance of taste which may occur normally improves with time, and numbness at the top of the ear may last several weeks.

ENT Group Clinic

We believe the heart of healthcare is service to others and we are committed to delivering outstanding care.

Our Location

based at Mercy Hospital
Gate3, Entrance D, Specialist Suite 2
100 Mountain Road, Epsom
Auckland 1023
New Zealand

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      9.00 - 17.00
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