A myringostapediopexy is a surgical procedure performed for the purpose of repairing the tympanic membrane inside the ear, also known as the eardrum, after a perforation. The patient's hearing will be at least partially restored after the procedure. This surgery is performed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon who specializes in these types of procedures. Specialists of this nature are also known as otolaryngologists.
When the eardrum is perforated, a wait and see approach is usually taken initially to see if the structure will heal naturally. If it does not heal or if there is so much damage to the ear that spontaneous healing is not a realistic possibility, a tympanoplasty must be considered. In a tympanoplasty, the eardrum is surgically reconstructed. A myringostapediopexy is a type of tympanoplasty and this procedure may sometimes be referred to as a type three or type III tympanoplasty.
In a myringostapediopexy, a graft is attached to the ear drum to repair the perforation, and the graft is connected to the stapes, one of the tiny bones in the ear known as the auditory ossicles. The auditory ossicles are an important part of the system which transmits vibrations through the ear so that they can reach the brain and be interpreted, allowing people to hear. The ossicles may also need to be partially reconstructed, as for example when a perforation is caused by a severe infection which also damages the ossicles.
In some cases, the surgeon can perform a myringostapediopexy by going through the ear canal. In others, the site is reached by making an incision behind the ear. Material for grafting can be taken from several different locations, all of which are discreet and will not leave marks which are easy to see after the healing process. Anesthesia is used for pain management and to keep the patient still during the procedure.
Recovery from a myringostapediopexy takes time because the eardrum must be allowed to heal. Periodic examinations will be used to confirm that the graft is taking and growing well. Eventually, hearing tests can be administered to see how well the patient can hear for the purpose of judging the success of the procedure. Patients who require reconstruction should ask their surgeons about their success rates with similar tympanoplasty procedures. It is also advisable to ask a surgeon about recovery time and what to expect after the surgery is complete.