INTRODUCTION: This study aims to investigate the arterial and venous vascularization of the tympanic membrane (TM) with colored vessel embalming procedure in fresh cadaver heads, as a guide for minimally invasive tympanoplasty procedures.
METHODS: This study was performed on two fresh frozen cadaver heads (4 ears, 1 male, 1 female). After vessel embalming procedure the TM was examined with rigid endoscopes and the mini vascular plexuses of the TM and external auditory canal were observed.
RESULTS: There is increased vascularization of the posterior superior part of the TM, and the main blood supply derives from the mallear region. The posterior half of the tympanic membrane has richer perfusion compared to the anterior half.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Awareness of the vascular pattern of the TM allows modification of manipulations during tympanoplasty; the poorly vascularized anterior part of the TM must be protected for successful graft healing.