Dr. Tali Lando, a CellScope Oto Pioneer, recently shared an interesting, albeit visually jarring, ear exam with the CellScope team.
You’ve been warned that this may be a bit disturbing, but here goes:
Yes, that’s an eardrum, or rather, lack of an eardrum. We were intrigued by the texture of the eardrum so we asked Dr. Lando to tell us a bit more about the case. Here’s what she had to say:
“This is a four year old patient with a history of bilateral ear tubes. The tubes fell out and left behind small tympanic membrane perforations [holes]. The child then had an infection which ‘blew’ the holes wider. This is a picture of a large subtotal tympanic membrane [eardrum] perforation in which you can clearly see into the middle ear.”
Yikes! That looks like it hurts.
Even though some eardrum perforations can heal on their own, Dr. Lando explained that an eardrum rupture this severe can cause significant hearing loss and is not likely to heal on its own. Given the seriousness of the injury and the young age of the patient, we were told that it would need to be repaired soon.
The child would need an operation called a tympanoplasty (a surgical operation performed for the reconstruction of the eardrum) in order to fix it. In many cases, a graft from the patients skin may be taken to reconstruct the tympanic membrane.
Thank you, Dr. Lando for sharing such an interesting case study with us! Dr. Lando is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist at ENT faculty practice in Ardsley, NY.