Cartilage is proving to be a very effective material for the reconstruction of the TM in cases of advanced middle ear pathology. It is it particularly useful for the management of the atelectatic ear, cholesteatoma, and high-risk perforation, and for reinforcement of the TM in conjunction with ossiculoplasty. Functional results in each pathologic group in our experience have been good, with a statistically significant improvement in hearing generally appreciated. Although the need for postoperative tube insertion is relatively rare, it can prove to be difficult when the entire TM is reconstructed with cartilage, emphasizing the need to optimize tubal function and continue research to better predict outcome based on preoperative parameters.
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