5 Most Common Ear Surgeries for Treating Chronic Infections

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What is Ear Surgery?

Also referred to as otoplasty, an ear surgery is conducted to enhance the shape, proportion, or position of the ear. Any defect in the structure of ear (from birth or later) can be rectified by otoplasty. The procedure is also helpful in treating any issue with ears caused by injury.

What does an ear surgery treat?

– Macrotia (large ears)

– Protruding ears on one or both sides

– Ear Infections of All Types

– Chronic Ear Infections

Surgical Treatment for Ear Infections

Surgical treatments have been proved successful for treating chronic otitis media and controlling infection. A surgery also helps prevent serious complications in future. Advancements in the field of surgical techniques have made it possible to improve hearing in patients after a serious infection.

Here are some of the common surgical treatments approved for treating chronic infections of ear:

  1. Myringoplasty

The surgical procedure is performed for repairing a hole in the eardrum. Myringoplasty is performed when there is no disease of ear bone or middle ear infection. With this surgery, the surgeon closes the middle ear naturally and improves hearing. Performed under local or general anesthesia, myringoplasty involves use of tissue grafts for repairing ear drum defect. The process may require the patient to be hospitalized for one night. It will take at least one week for the patient to return to work. Complete healing will about 8 weeks. By this time, the patient may experience significant improvement in hearing.

  1. Tympanoplasty

The surgery aims at assessing ear spaces for any disease and improving hearing loss. The doctor will perform operation for getting the following results:

– Removing any infection

– Repairing ear drum

– Repairing sound transmitting mechanism for improve hearing loss

Sometimes, tympanoplasty is done in two stages. Since it is an outpatient method, some patients may get discharged the same day. Some may even require being hospitalized for a night after the surgery.

The process involves creating an incision behind the ear. Patient is under a local or general anesthesia. In some cases, the surgery may be performed through the ear canal. The surgeon repairs perichondrium. Diseased ear bones are replaced or repositioned to ensure sound transmission. In some cases, the eardrum is stiffened by a piece of cartilage.

  1. Mastoidectomy

Since the mastoid space connects straight to the middle ear space, there are some important structures within and next to the mastoid such as facial nerve, brain, and inner ear. Hence, any infection in the area can be risky. The surgical process is also delicate. Hence, mastoid surgery is done with tympanoplasty for treating any existing issue.

One of the major aims of the surgery is to clean out mastoid by creating an incision behind the outer ear. The next step involves removal of outer layer of bone and cleaning of any abnormal contents. Surgeon will glue the incision back together or close it with dissolvable sutures needing less care.

The ear surgery is an outpatient procedure with or without tympanoplasty. Patient can be discharged immediately after surgery or the next morning depending on the condition and doctor’s advice. Usually, doctors advice around 3 weeks of restricted activity.

  1. Mastoidectomy Radical

The surgical procedure aims at removing infection without improving hearing. Those with resistant infections are the best candidates for this surgery. Radical mastoid may become necessary in cases that seemed appropriate for a tympanoplasty. The surgeon will decide on this at the time of the surgery. For allowing the ear to heal completely, the surgeon might consider muscle, fat, or bone graft.

The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia. Patients will require staying in the hospital for one night of hospitalization. The ear will heal completely in 4 months. The patient may return to work within a week or two after the surgery.

  1. Meatoplasty

In some cases, after a radical mastoid or modified radical, the ear canal opening needs to be enlarged. This is done by performing meatoplasty involving removal of a part ear cartilage. This procedure facilitates routine mastoid cavity cleaning.
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