Perforated eardrum

Complications of surgery for perforated eardrum

Before you have surgery to repair a perforated eardrum (myringoplasty), discuss it with your surgeon. They can tell you about any problems you may have as a result of the procedure.

Complications associated with a myringoplasty are rare, but may include those below.

Infection

It's possible to have an infection after surgery. If your ear is infected, you will experience an increase in pain, bleeding and discharge. Contact your GP if you think you may have an infection.

Hearing loss

Severe deafness can occur if your inner ear is damaged during surgery, although this is very rare.

Read more about hearing loss.

Tinnitus

Following surgery, you may experience ringing or buzzing in your ear, known as tinnitus.

Dizziness

It is common to experience dizziness for a few hours after surgery. In a small number of cases, the dizziness can last for longer.

Facial paralysis

The nerve that controls facial muscles runs through the ear, so there is a slight risk of facial paralysis (weakness in the muscles of the face) after surgery.

Sometimes, facial paralysis develops soon after surgery but there can be a delay between having surgery and the start of symptoms. The facial muscles may recover totally or partially.

Taste

As the taste nerve passes close to your eardrum, there is a risk that it may be damaged during surgery. If the nerve is damaged, you may have a strange taste on one side of your tongue. This is usually temporary, but occasionally it can be permanent.

Last updated: 09 November 2012