Closure of the tympanic membrane

Middle ear surgery in which a graft (section of tendon, perichondrium or cartilage) is put in place, allowing the tympanic membrane to grow over it so a closure can take place. In some cases an additional repair of the ossicular chain also needs to heal.


Otorhinolaryngology, head en neck surgery

Procedure and objective

  • The operation is performed under general anaesthetic. Most surgeries are performed in dayclinic.
  • Via the ear canal or an incision behind the ear.
  • A section of tendon, perichondrium or cartilage is placed under the tympanic membrane to support it.
    • The tympanic membrane will grow over it.

In some cases the ossicular chain also needs to be restored. More extensive cases include resection of cholesteatoma.


  • Your ear must be free from infection or discharge for 3 weeks before the operation. If there is an infection or discharge contact your ENT physician.
  • Wash your hair the day before the operation.


  • Period of rest whenever possible: no major straining during 3 weeks.
    • If the ossicular chain needs to heal, lifting, flying or intensive sports should be avoided for a period of 6 weeks.
  • Prevent water from entering your ear until your ENT physician says it is ok, usually approximately 4 months after the operation.
    • Use a cup or cotton wool with Vaseline to prevent water from entering.
  • Do not use earplugs during the first few weeks after the operation; they will inhibit the healing process.
  • Sneeze with your mouth open and don’t blow your nose for 2 weeks to prevent putting pressure on the tympanic membrane.

Problems or complications

Your hearing may be affected immediately after the operation because of dressings in the ear canal and fluid in the middle ear. A creaking noise in the ear is normal.

Contact your ENT physician in the event of fever (without any other cause), a discharge of pus from the ear, dizziness or severe hearing loss.

Last edit: 24 August 2023