Myringoplasty (adult)

This page gives you information about a myringoplasty. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

What is a myringoplasty?

A myringoplasty is an operation to repair a hole in your eardrum.

A perforation is usually caused by an infection in your middle ear that bursts through your eardrum (see figure 1).

It can also be caused by trauma (for example, being hit across your ear).

A perforated eardrum can lead to repeated ear infections and poorer hearing.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should have less risk of repeated ear infections and your hearing may improve.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Keeping your ear dry by placing cotton wool and Vaseline in your ear when bathing or washing your hair may prevent infection.

An infection can be treated with antibiotics and a trained healthcare practitioner can clean your ear. A hearing aid can improve poor hearing.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.

Your surgeon will need to use a graft (piece of tissue) to cover the hole.

Your surgeon will place the graft through a cut made either in front of or behind your ear, or inside your ear canal. They will lift your eardrum and place the graft underneath it and support it with a dissolving sponge. They will put your eardrum back.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots