The ear is made up of three basic parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The middle ear is an air-filled cavity which consists of an eardrum and three tiny, interconnected bones called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. Middle ear surgery is used to treat a variety of conditions in any of these parts. Most ear surgery is microsurgical, performed using an operating microscope to enable the surgeon to view the very small structures of the ear.
Types of middle ear surgery include stapedectomy to repair hearing loss by replacing a middle ear bone with a prosthesis; tympanoplasty to reconstruct the eardrum after partial or total conductive hearing loss caused by an infection; myringotomy to drain ear fluid, preventing infection and normalizing middle ear pressure; repair of a perforated eardrum; and removal of middle ear tumors.
Minimally invasive laser surgery for middle ear procedures is increasing in popularity. Laser surgery reduces trauma, improves blot clotting, and allows the surgeon to operate more easily on hard to reach places in the middle ear.