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Restore Your Ear’s
Structural Integrity

Structural ear surgery is a specialized medical intervention that addresses various abnormalities within the anatomy of your ear. These abnormalities can disrupt the delicate mechanisms responsible for sound conduction, leading to hearing loss or impaired auditory function. Through meticulous surgical techniques, structural ear surgery aims to repair or reconstruct components such as the tympanic membrane (eardrum), ossicles (small bones in the middle ear), or the cochlea (inner ear structure crucial for hearing). The specific techniques used are tailored to each individual’s unique needs.

Structural Ear Surgery Treats:

  • Tympanic membrane perforations (ruptured eardrum)
  • Ossicular chain discontinuity (damage to the small bones in the middle ear)
  • Cholesteatoma (a noncancerous growth in the middle ear)
  • Congenital ear abnormalities
  • Chronic ear infections causing structural damage
  • Otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)
  • Conductive hearing loss due to structural issues
  • Traumatic injuries to the ear’s structural components
  • Barotrauma (damage caused by changes in air or water pressure)
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction leading to middle ear problems

The Types of Structural Ear Surgery

Ossicular Reconstruction

Ossicular reconstruction restores the intricate chain of tiny bones in your middle ear, known as ossicles. These bones play a crucial role in transmitting sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. If damaged or impaired due to trauma or infection, hearing loss can result. Our surgeons repair or replace these delicate bones using various techniques and materials, such as prosthetic devices or tissue grafts. This procedure aims to improve your hearing by restoring the normal chain of ossicles, thus enhancing sound conduction.


Tympanoplasty is a procedure to repair a perforated or damaged eardrum, known as the tympanic membrane. This membrane separates the outer ear from the middle ear and plays a vital role in hearing by transmitting sound vibrations. When compromised due to injury, infection, or other factors, hearing loss or infections can occur. Tympanoplasty involves reconstructing the tympanic membrane using tissue grafts or synthetic materials. Restoring the integrity of the eardrum improves your hearing, reduces the risk of infections, and restores ear health.

Structural Ear Surgery FAQs

How do I know if I need structural ear surgery?

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as persistent hearing loss, recurring ear infections, drainage from the ear, or discomfort, it’s crucial to consult an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) for a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Highland can assess your symptoms, perform diagnostic tests such as hearing exams and imaging studies, and determine whether structural ear surgery is the appropriate treatment option for your condition.

Is structural ear surgery safe?

Yes, structural ear surgery is generally safe when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon like Dr. Highland. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved, including infection, bleeding, damage to surrounding structures, and anesthesia complications. Dr. Highland will discuss these risks with you in detail during your consultation and ensure that you understand the potential benefits and risks before proceeding with surgery.

How long does structural ear surgery typically take?

The duration of structural ear surgery depends on the procedure performed, the complexity of the case, and individual factors. Generally, these surgeries can range from one to several hours. Dr. Highland will provide you with an estimate of the expected surgical time and detailed information about what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

What should I expect during the recovery period after structural ear surgery?

You can expect some discomfort, including ear pain, headaches, and slight dizziness, for a few days post-surgery. Your ear may also feel congested or blocked. As your ear heals and Dr. Highland removes the gauze packing from the ear canal, typically 1-2 weeks after surgery, you may notice an improvement. Expect some drainage of bloody fluid from your ear for 1-3 days after the packing is removed, which is a normal part of the healing process.

Will I experience any changes in my hearing after structural ear surgery?

While the goal of structural ear surgery is to improve your hearing, individual outcomes can vary. Some patients may experience significant improvements in their hearing immediately after surgery, while others may notice more subtle changes over a few weeks. Dr. Highland will discuss realistic expectations for your specific situation during your consultation and provide guidance on what you can expect regarding changes in your hearing after surgery.

How long does it take to recover fully from structural ear surgery?

The timeline for full recovery from structural ear surgery can vary depending on factors such as the type of procedure performed, your overall health, and how well you follow postoperative instructions. In general, most patients can return to normal activities within a few weeks following surgery. However, Dr. Highland may recommend avoiding certain activities, such as swimming, flying, heavy lifting, or being around loud noises, for a specified period to allow for proper healing.

Your Consultation

Alaska Facial Plastic Surgery and ENT is your premier destination for advanced structural ear surgery. Led by Dr. Julie Highland, a distinguished ear, nose, and throat physician and fellowship-trained otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional care. Our elite team of experts collaborates closely with you to ensure a successful outcome tailored to your unique needs. If you’re experiencing issues related to your ears, we encourage you to schedule a consultation for an evaluation today.

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