Postoperative Instructions

After Tympanoplasty or Tympanomastoidectomy Surgery

  1. Remove the gauze bandage, or cup-like dressing on the day after surgery. If there is a piece of paper behind the ear, remove this. Take the cotton ball out of the ear. There is often a small sponge inside the ear canal. Leave this in.
  2. Beginning on the first day after surgery, begin to apply eardrops to the packing or sponge inside the ear canal. Often, the drops will not penetrate into the packing, and seem to dribble out. This is okay, just try to keep the packing moist with the drops. If some of the packing falls out on its own, this is okay. Continue to apply the ear drops twice a day until you see your doctor.
  3. Do not get water into the ear. It is okay to shower, but place a piece of cotton coated with Vaseline into the ear canal when showering or washing your hair.
  4. Some blood-tinged drainage from the ear canal is seen after ear surgery, and is normal. If the drainage is copious or foul-smelling, call the office.
  5. If there is an incision behind the ear, keep it dry for 3 days after surgery. The stitches are typically self-dissolving.
  6. If you wear glasses, either remove the arm on the operated side or make sure that the glasses do not rest on the incision behind the ear for one week.
  7. Beginning on the second day after surgery, try to leave the cotton out of the ear as much as possible. IF the ear is draining, replace the cotton as needed to keep from soiling your clothes.
  8. Do not blow your nose for three weeks after surgery. If you must sneeze or cough, do so with your mouth open.
  9. For 4 weeks after surgery, do not lift anything heavier than 20 pounds, do not strain or bend over, or perform any vigorous physical activity. No airplane travel or dental work for four weeks after surgery.
  10. Keep your head elevated as much as possible. For the first three nights, it is best to sleep and rest on 2 or 3 pillows.
  11. Some dizziness and nausea is common after surgery. The vomiting typically subsides on the second postoperative day.
  12. Popping sounds, a plugged sensation, ringing or fluctuating hearing may be noticed in the ear during the healing process.
  13. For several days after surgery, the ear may feel plugged and the hearing may seem very muffled, due to packing in the ear canal. This will improve as the packing dissolves and is removed. IF there seem sto be a TOTAL loss of hearing (complete deafness) in the ear, call the office.
  14. It is common to experience a metallic taste or sensation of tongue numbness after surgery. This is usually temporary, but can last for several weeks to months. It is rarely permanent.
  15. You should have an appointment to be seen 7-10 days after the surgery, unless otherwise instructed by the doctor.
  16. If you have any questions or concerns, call the office at: (760) 565-3900.

After Stapedectomy Surgery

  1. Remove the dressing on the day after surgery. Take the band-aid off and remove the cotton ball.
  2. Change the cotton ball as needed to catch any blood draining from the ear. Some drainage is normal after surgery. If it becomes profuse or foul-smelling, call the office.
  3. Beginning on the second day after surgery, try to leave the cotton out of the ear as much as possible. If the ear is draining, replace the cotton as needed to keep blood from running onto your neck and clothes.
  4. Do not get water into the ear canal for four to six weeks after surgery. When showering or washing your hair, place a piece of cotton coated with Vaseline into the ear canal to prevent water from entering the canal.
  5. The small incision behind the ear should be kept dry for 3 to 5 days after surgery. The stitches will be removed by the doctor at your postoperative visit.
  6. Some dizziness, nausea and vomiting are normal for 3 days after surgery. If the dizziness becomes severe, call the office. It is normal to experience mild dizziness when moving your head for several weeks after surgery.
  7. Immediately after surgery, the ear may feel very plugged and the hearing may be very muffled, due to packing in the ear canal. Improvement in hearing is not expected for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. If there seems to be a TOTAL loss of hearing (complete deafness) after surgery, call the office immediately.
  8. Popping sounds, echoing, a plugged sensation, ringing or fluctuating hearing may be noticed during the healing process.
  9. Keep your head elevated as much as possible. For the first 3 nights, sleep and rest on 2 or 3 pillows.
  10. Do not blow your nose for 3 weeks after surgery. If you must sneeze or cough, do so with your mouth open.
  11. For 4 weeks after surgery, do not lift anything heavier than 20 pounds, do not strain or bend over, or perform any vigorous physical activity. No airplane travel or dental work for 4 weeks after surgery.
  12. It is common to experience a metallic taste or sensation of tongue numbness after surgery. This is usually temporary, but can last for several weeks to months. It is rarely permanent.
  13. You should have an appointment to be seen 7-10 days after the surgery, unless otherwise instructed by the doctor.
  14. If you have any questions or concerns, call the office at: (760) 565-3900.

After BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) Surgery

  1. The First 24 Hours: Leave the bandage in place. If the bandage seems to slip off the head, snug it down back in place. Remove the bandage after 24 hours. The primary dressing under the bandage (white healing cap, and square pink dressing) should be left in place. Hair can be washed, but dressing must be kept dry and in place.
  2. First Follow Up – one week after surgery: Hair should be washed on the morning of the appointment. It is okay if the dressing becomes damp. The doctor will remove the dressing and clean the wound, and reapply the dressing. Hair can continue to be washed, but the dressing must be kept dry.
  3. Second Follow Up – two weeks after surgery: The physician will remove the stitches and clean the wound. Hair may be washed. If the healing is complete, no further dressing should be necessary.
  4. Patient Cleaning Routine: During weeks 2-5 following surgery, clean around the titanium abutment daily with gentle soap and water, or baby wipes. Dry the skin carefully.
  5. Five weeks after surgery, you should begin to clean around the abutment with a soft cleaning brush and gentle soap. This should be done daily, or a minimum of 2-3 times per week.
  6. You should have an appointment with the audiologist 3 months after surgery to attach the speech processor.

After Cochlear Implant and Endolymphatic Sac Surgery

  1. The First 24 Hours: Leave the bandage in place. If the bandage seems to slip off the head, snug it down back in place. Remove the bandage after 24 hours.
  2. You may bathe, and hair can be washed, but the incision must be kept dry for 3 days. After 3 days, it is okay to get the incision wet.
  3. Make an appointment to see the doctor 7-10 days after surgery. Stitches will be removed at this visit.
  4. You should have an appointment with the audiologist at 4 weeks after surgery for your initial stimulation (turn on).
  5. Some dizziness, nausea, and vomiting may be experienced after surgery.
  6. If you have any questions or concerns, call the office at: (760) 565-3900.