Ear surgery is the treatment of diseases, injuries, or deformations of the ear by operation with instruments.
Ear surgery is performed to correct certain types of hearing loss, and to treat diseases of, injuries to, or deformities of the ear's auditory tube, middle ear, inner ear, and auditory and vestibular systems. Ear surgery is commonly performed to treat conductive hearing loss, persistent ear infections, unhealed perforated eardrums, congenital ear defects, and tumors. Ear surgery is performed on children and adults. In some cases, surgery is the only treatment; in others, it is used only when more conservative medical treatment fails.
The precautions vary, depending on the type of ear surgery under consideration. For example, stapedectomy (removal of parts of the middle ear and insertion of prosthesis parts) should not be performed on people with external or middle ear infection or inner ear disease. For people with complete hearing loss in the other ear, it should be performed cautiously. Microsurgery for the removal of a cholesteatoma (a cyst-like mass of cells in the middle ear) should not be performed on patients who are extremely ill or have other medical conditions. Tympanoplasty (any surgical procedure on the eardrum or middle ear) should not be performed on patients with chronic sinus or nasal problems or with medical problems such as poorly controlled diabetes and heart disease. Surgery for congenital microtia and atresia (abscense of normal bodily openings, such as the outer ear canal) should not be performed if the middle ear space is totally or almost totally absent.
Surgery may also be appropriate to remove multiple bony overgrowths of the ear canal or in rare cases of compromised auditory tube function, to narrow the tube.