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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Surgical Risks for Ear Surgery

The risks of surgery (tympanoplasty, ossicular chain reconstruction, or tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy) include the following:

  • An eardrum perforation may occur if the eardrum does not heal properly.
  • The cholesteatoma or ear infection can come back.
  • Further hearing loss happens less than 10 percent of the time. Total deafness is extremely uncommon.
  • Injury to the facial nerve that runs through the ear can cause facial paralysis. This too is extremely uncommon.
  • Loss of sense of taste on the side of the tongue may occur. It is usually only a minor inconvenience for a few weeks.
  • Persistent postoperative dizziness or ringing in the ear may happen, but both are quite uncommon.
  • All of these above risks can happen even if you do not have surgery.
  • Untreated infection or cholesteatoma of the ear can have serious consequences.