Over-under tympanoplasty - a new technique to repair ear drum perforations

Kartush JM, Michaelides EM, Becvarovski Z, LaRouere MJ.

Michigan Ear Institute, Farmington Hills; Providence Hospital, SouthfieldWayne State University, Department of Otolaryngology, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


OBJECTIVE: Common techniques of tympanic membrane repair include underlay and overlay grafting. The over-under tympanoplasty, an innovative method for tympanic membrane repair, will be described as a reliable alternative that has advantages over traditional procedures. STUDY DESIGN: This study was a retrospective case review.

SETTING: Tertiary referral center with hospital-setting surgery and outpatient ambulatory patient visits.

PATIENTS: One hundred twenty patients who underwent over-under tympanoplasty were included in this study. Average follow-up was 1.8 years.

INTERVENTION: Over-under tympanoplasty is performed by placing the graft over the malleus and under the annulus. This technique was used for patients undergoing ear surgery for chronic otitis media, perforations, cholesteatoma, and/or conductive hearing loss. All degrees of ear pathology were included.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Main outcome measures were graft success (no perforation, atelectasis, or lateralization within 6 mo) and improvement of hearing. Patients were stratified by severity of disease (according to the Middle Ear Risk Index), cholesteatoma presence, and type of mastoidectomy.

RESULTS: All 120 patients had successful grafts. Lateralization of the grafted drum did not occur. Seventeen patients had late atelectasis, and 12 patients had late perforations; nearly all of these were noted more than 1 year after surgery and were attributed to persistent eustachian tube dysfunction or infections. Average improvement in air-bone gap for all patients was 5.3 dB, whereas speech reception threshold improved by 5.9 dB.

CONCLUSION: Over-under tympanoplasty has an excellent success rate while being technically easier than lateral tympanoplasty. Thus, it is a useful method for practitioners of all levels.

Laryngoscope 2002 May;112(5):802-7