Tympanoplasty is the surgical operation performed for the reconstruction of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and/or the small bones of the middle ear (ossicles).
Tympanoplasty is classified into five different types, originally described by Horst Ludwig Wullstein (1906–1987) in 1956.
Type 1 involves repair of the tympanic membrane alone, when the middle ear is normal. A type 1 tympanoplasty is synonymous to myringoplasty.
Type 2 involves repair of the tympanic membrane and middle ear in spite of slight defects in the middle ear ossicles.
Type 3 involves removal of ossicles and epitympanum when there are large defects of the malleus and incus. The tympanic membrane is repaired and directly connected to the head of the stapes.
Type 4 describes a repair when the stapes foot plate is movable, but the crura are missing. The resulting middle ear will only consist of the Eustachian tube and hypotympanum.
Type 5 is a repair involving a fixed stapes footplate.
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