Tympanic membrane perforations

What is a Myringoplasty?

A hole (perforation) in the eardrum can develop following ear infections or trauma, including grommet insertion. Hearing loss and recurrent ear discharge are common complaints in patients with a perforation. The perforation can be repaired, an operation called myringoplasty.


It is performed under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. An incision is made in front or behind the ear.

Depending on the extent of the surgery it can be performed as a day stay procedure, but some patients have to stay in hospital for one night.


Pain is minimal and there is a minimal risk of bleeding and infection after surgery. Rarely taste sensation may be altered but settles with time. There is a small risk of decreased hearing in the operated ear.


You will require 4-7 days off school/work.

Pain Relief

Regular Paracetamol should provide sufficient pain relief in most patients but additional medication will be provided if needed.

Wound Care

  • Remove ear pads the day after surgery
  • Change cotton wool in the ear canal as long as there is leakage from the ear
  • The packing in the ear canal will have to stay until your clinic review. One or two pieces may fall out and do not have to be replaced.
  • Sutures do not have to be removed (they are dissolvable).

Until healing is complete at three months, avoid

  • Nose Blowing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Sneezing with your nose and mouth closed

Keep the ear canal dry for at least 6 weeks. You can get the incision behind the ear spray wet after 48 hours and wet after 5 days.

Do not take part in sports or swimming until cleared by your surgeon.

Follow up

A clinic appointment will be scheduled 2-3 weeks after surgery.