Traumatic perforations of the tympanic membrane: early closure with paper tape patching.


There is a difference of opinion about treating traumatic perforations of the tympanic membrane expectantly or with early surgery. Those who treat expectantly argue that most of the perforations will heal, given enough time. Those who argue for early closure note the occasional finding of middle ear damage, high closure rates, and faster healing. We present 50 consecutive traumatic perforations seen over a 3-year period and initially treated with paper tape patches (3M Micropore) applied in the office under local anesthesia. The success rate was 92%. Three of the four patients whose treatments failed, presented with a draining ear the night of patch placement, suggesting prior infection. All four failures were successfully treated with myringoplasties. Surprisingly, meticulous attention to aligning the perforation margins did not appear to affect the outcome. Healing usually occurred within 2 to 3 weeks. We contend that this method of treatment is quick, inexpensive, highly successful, identifies potential complications, is accepted by most patients, and promotes early healing.

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@article{Camnitz1985TraumaticPO, title={Traumatic perforations of the tympanic membrane: early closure with paper tape patching.}, author={P S Camnitz and W S Bost}, journal={Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery}, year={1985}, volume={93 2}, pages={220-3} }