1. A tympanoplasty will have a small or larger incision placed behind the ear depending on the type of surgery performed. The patient will be discharged home with an ear muff (mastoid) dressing. Leave this in place until the day after surgery, usually at the first postoperative appointment.
2. You may notice bloody drainage from the ear canal for a few days after surgery. This is normal. You may replace the cotton ball in the ear as needed. This may be quite often for the first few days.
3. Keep the incision along the back of the ear dry for 3 days. You may clean the incision with a Q tip dipped in peroxide. After 3 days, the incision may get wet. You may shower with a Vaseline (or antibiotic ointment) coated cotton ball in the ear at that time. The ointment will prevent water from seeping into the ear canal. Pat the area dry after. Do not submerge the ear in water (baths, pools, bodies of water) until cleared by your surgeon.
4. Ear pain is usually mild and most often treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin)
5. You should not fly in an airplane or go swimming until your doctor specifically tells you it is okay to do so.
6. In most cases, the patient may return to school or work within 2 days after surgery. Vigorous activities/exercise should be avoided for 3 weeks or possibly longer – discuss this with your surgeon.
7. Dizziness or vomiting may occur within the first 24 hours after ear surgery. Please call our office if the patient continues to vomit more than 24 hours after surgery or is having difficulty standing or walking.
8. After surgery, the patient will NOT be able to hear normally in the operated ear until the packing in the ear canal and behind the eardrum dissolves. This can take 2 to 3 months. Initially, hearing may seem worse than before surgery until the packing dissolves.
9. A hearing test may be done again 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.