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What is myringotomy?

Myringotomy is a surgical procedure for ear infections with prominent discharge. During the procedure, the tympanic membrane is cut using a knife to release the fluid trapped in the middle-ear in patients with both acute or chronic otitis media with effusion (OME). 

OME is the collection of non-infected fluid in the middle ear canal as a result of a cold, sore throat, or upper respiratory infection. It can be classified as serous, mucoid or purulent – based on the type of discharge. Usually it is very self-limiting, i.e., it resolves itself within 4-6 weeks without surgical intervention.

In some cases, the infection is too severe to be drained at once and has to be drained in stages. In such cases, an ear tube is inserted through the tympanic membrane through a procedure called tympanostomy.

USFDA Approved Procedures

USFDA Approved Procedures

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No Cuts. No Wounds. Painless*.

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1 Day Procedure

1 Day Procedure

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Best Doctors For Myringotomy

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Pristyn Care hospitals for myringotomy

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  • 4/5
    Pristyncare Clinic image : Infinity Mall, Mum, Twinkle Apartments Adarsh Nagar Rd Andheri West...

    Pristyn Care Andheri West

    Infinity Mall, Mum, Twinkle Apartments Adarsh Nagar Rd Andheri West...

  • 4/5
    Pristyncare Clinic image : No A 24  Hauz Khas Delhi Delhi - Delhi

    Pristyn Care Hauz Khas

    No A 24 Hauz Khas Delhi Delhi - Delhi

  • 4/5
    Pristyncare Clinic image : Chanakyapuri Building tukaram paduka chowk 1st floor tukaram paduka chowk...

    Pristyn Care tukaram paduka chowk

    Chanakyapuri Building tukaram paduka chowk 1st floor tukaram paduka chowk...

  • 4/5
    Pristyncare Clinic image : KHB Colony, 5th Block 17th B Main Rd, Koramangala Bangalore...

    Pristyn Care Koramangala

    KHB Colony, 5th Block 17th B Main Rd, Koramangala Bangalore...

Best ENT treatment center for myringotomy

Best ENT treatment center for myringotomy

Pristyn care is one of the best and largest surgery care providers in India. It has tie-ups with some of the best ENT hospitals all over India to help provide advanced ear, nose, and throat treatment to all its patients at affordable prices. Additionally, Pristyn Care has a team of expert ENT specialists who perform advanced ear surgeries like tympanoplasty, myringotomy, tympanostomy, etc., without any complications or hearing loss for the patient.

Pristyn Care also provides other auxiliary services to the patient, such as complete insurance and hospital documentation support, easy payment plans like no-cost EMI, etc. It also provides cab facility to the patient for pick up and drop off from the hospital on the day of surgery and complimentary meals during hospitalization.

What happens during a myringotomy?

What happens during a myringotomy?

Diagnosis before myringotomy surgery

If you are suffering from OME, then you should consult an expert ENT specialist to ensure you get proper treatment right away. Some signs you might have OME are hearing difficulty, tugging or pulling sensation, loss of balance, delayed speech development, ear pain, etc.

During the physical examination, the ENT doctor will review your medical history to ascertain the cause of the ear infection. Following this, the doctor will inspect the ear canal using an otoscope. The otoscope has an attached light and camera to help view the inner portion of the ear canal. In some cases, the surgeon may use a pneumatic otoscope, which helps check the movement of the eardrum to find out if the middle ear has fluid trapped inside.

In addition to this, the surgeon may order some hearing tests like audiometry, tympanogram, tuning fork test, tympanometry, etc., to determine the severity of the patient’s hearing problem. Based on the results of these tests, the ENT doctor will plan out the treatment. 

 

Myringotomy surgery procedure

Mild cases of OME are treated through monitoring and medications, however, self-medication is not recommended, as antihistamines, antibiotics, and decongestants are generally ineffective for otitis media.

If the condition persists for more than 2-3 months, then the patient can end up with permanent hearing and speech development (in children) disabilities, so prompt treatment through surgery is necessary. Surgical treatment of OME is performed through myringotomy and tympanostomy. The entire procedure takes about 15-20 minutes.

The surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia. During myringotomy, the ENT surgeon creates a tiny incision (3-5 mm in length) to drain the ear canal. If a ventilation tube (during tympanostomy) is to be inserted, then simultaneously a 3/5/7 mm tube is inserted, as needed. 

After the surgery is done, the ear canal is packed with gauze and left to heal. The tympanic membrane heals on its own without need for stitches, and if a tube is inserted it falls out on its own within a few months. 

How to prepare for myringotomy surgery?

How to prepare for myringotomy surgery?

Myringotomy isn’t a very complicated surgery, but you should prepare for it thoroughly in order to avoid any complications. Some common preoperative instructions provided before myringotomy surgery are:

  • Since the surgery is performed under general anesthesia, the patient has to abide by instructions for the same. They can’t eat anything after midnight on the day before the surgery.
  • The patient also won’t be able to drive immediately after the surgery, so they should arrange for someone to drive them home after the surgery.
  • Talk to your doctor regarding your medical history, especially if you’re habitually taking any medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), blood thinners, antiplatelets, etc.

What to expect after myringotomy?

What to expect after myringotomy?

After the surgery, the patient will have a clogged feeling in the ear. It is very normal and generally resolves within a few days. A little pain and discomfort are normal after the surgery, but they can be managed through over-the-counter pain relievers. 

Normally, without any complications, complete healing after a myringotomy takes about 4 weeks. However the healing doesn’t improve immediately after the surgery. You will notice some improvement in your hearing over the next few days. If you have ear tubes, then they will fall out on their own within 6-12 months. 

The eardrum will heal itself within a few days after the tubes fall out, but there might be a little scarring. In addition to this, you should follow all the instructions given by your surgeon and follow-up with your surgeon accordingly.

Which tips should the patient follow to improve their recovery?

Which tips should the patient follow to improve their recovery?

After myringotomy surgery, you should follow the given tips to improve your recovery:

  • After the surgery, you will have a bandage in your ear to absorb the drainage. Do not get this bandage wet. The drainage will eventually taper off within the next 2-3 days. 
  • Change your gauze regularly to prevent infection at the surgery site.
  • Take your medicines as prescribed. If you’ve been prescribed ear drops, use them as directed by your ENT doctor. Generally, patients are prescribed antibiotic ear drops after the surgery to eliminate the chances of infection.
  • If water gets in your ear accidentally, then gently wipe your ear and monitor for drainage. A little drainage is okay, but if it continues even after 3 days, then you may need to consult your doctor.
  • Ask your ENT surgeon for approval before resuming showers and baths. While swimming or bathing, use ear plugs to prevent water from entering your ear. Do not submerge your head under water till you have received approval from your ENT specialist.
  • Do not clear your ears with a Q-Tip or anything similar till you have consulted your doctor. Also, ask your doctor before inserting anything in your ear during the recovery period.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as:
    • fever and chills
    • redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the ear
    • drainage from the ear continues for more than three days after surgery
    • no improvement in hearing
    • cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or severe nausea or vomiting

When is myringotomy required?

When is myringotomy required?

Myringotomy is performed for patients with fluid trapped in the middle ear canal. The most common condition for ear fluid is due to otitis media with effusion. When fluid is trapped in the middle ear, it interferes with the function of the eustachian tube and leads to balance issues. 

Some ear issues myringotomy is necessary for are:

  • Recurrent otitis media (middle ear infections)
  • Ear bleeding due to trauma or eardrum perforation
  • Difficulty in hearing or muffled hearing
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction with associated hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus
  • Severe retraction pocket in the tympanic membrane
  • Difficulty in maintaining balance 
  • Ear barotrauma, i.e., sudden change in pressure in the air surrounding the ear canal – especially recurrently due to flying, diving, hyperbaric chamber treatment, etc.

Both myringotomy and tympanostomy are more common in children compared to adults, as ear infections are more common at that age.

What are the complications associated with a myringotomy?

What are the complications associated with a myringotomy?

While entirely safe, even myringotomy can result in some complications if performed incorrectly or if the patient doesn’t take proper care after the surgery:

  • Permanent eardrum perforation that doesn’t heal despite treatment
  • Hardening or scarring of the eardrum result in further hearing loss
  • Injury of the ear canal during the surgery
  • Hemorrhage or infection
  • Chronic drainage of the ear canal
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Failure of the treatment

Contact your surgeon immediately if you notice any signs of infection so they can manage them and prevent permanent hearing loss to the patient.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I get back to work after myringotomy?

You can get back to work/school within 1-2 days of the surgery. As long as you follow your surgeon’s instructions and take your medicines on time, you will notice significant improvement in your hearing within a week and recover completely within 3-4 weeks.

Can I get myringotomy under local anesthesia?

Yes, while general anesthesia is preferred for kids, myringotomy surgery for adults can be performed under local anesthesia, provided the surgeon can count on them to stay still during the surgery.

What are the different types of tympanostomy tubes?

There are 4 main types of ventilation tubes used during a tympanostomy – Long Armstrong tubes, Donaldson tubes, Shepard tubes and straight tubes, based on shape. The type of tube used during the surgery depends on the severity of the condition, the length of the patient’s ear canal, the amount of time the tube is expected to stay in the ear canal, etc. Ear tubes are usually made of silicone, plastic, or metal.

Can myringotomy be performed using a laser?

Yes, nowadays myringotomy surgery using a CO2 laser is quite common, however, even though the surgery is generally considered safer, there is no proof that it provides a better outcome than a traditional myringotomy. In fact, if the patient needs a tympanostomy tube, traditional myringotomy is considered better than laser surgery.

What is BM-T procedure?

BM-T stands for bilateral myringotomy and tubes. It is a surgery in which a small opening is made in each eardrum and a small tube is placed in the opening. It is generally performed in children with severe infection in both ears.

What are the risks of ear tubes?

While ear tubes are very effective, sometimes they do not prevent ear infections, or even lead to further infections. Sometimes holes can even lead to permanent scarring or hole in the eardrum that can lead to further loss of hearing.

How can myringotomy benefit you?

How can myringotomy benefit you?

Myringotomy helps release the fluid trapped in the ear canal to ease the patient’s symptoms. The fluid can be water, blood or pus, depending on the cause of the issue. Other benefits of myringotomy are:

  • It helps restore hearing and prevent further hearing loss due to chronic fluid build-up in the ear canal.
  • It prevents delayed speech development caused by hearing loss in the primitive years of childhood.
  • It equalizes pressure in the eustachian tubes and restores the patient’s balance.
  • It is very effective in treating recurrent ear infections with effusion or ear infections that are not responding to conservative treatment.
  • It also helps manage the side effects/complications of chronic ear infections such as sinus infections, eye infections, etc.
  • It also helps collect samples for lab testing to determine if the infection is due to a bacteria, virus, etc., for better medical management.

Our Patient Love Us

  • Radhika Garg

    Treatment: Myringotomy

    5/5

    I was a little apprehensive about getting surgery at Pristyn Care, but all the staff was very polite and helpful. They made sure I was okay at all times during my treatment journey.

    City: Bangalore 4 months ago
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