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Postoperative Instructions for Tympanoplasty / Stapedectomy

Rest: Plan to rest the evening after your operation. Even after minor surgery, you may feel drowsy or tired for a number of hours. You may also have fatigue, muscle aches and a sore throat for 1-2 days.

Nausea and Vomiting: It is common to have 2-3 episodes of nausea and vomiting. If it persists through the night, call the office in the morning. Temperature: Generally the body temperature does not raise much above 100 degrees following surgery. A slight rise is to be expected. It is normal to have a low-grade fever for up to a week after surgery. Report any persistent temperature above 101.5 degrees after Tylenol or pain medication is given.

Discomfort and Pain: Use the pain medication prescribed by your doctor as directed. However, when your pain begins to lessen, try to reduce your pain medication use. The faster you come off your prescription pain medication the more rapid will be your recovery.

Bleeding / Drainage: A thin bloody discharge can be expected from the ear canal for several days. If it becomes thick yellow or green, call our office at once. A piece of cotton should be used to absorb the drainage and be changed as necessary. You may have a round sponge (otowick) in your ear canal, which will be removed at your first visit. If it comes out sooner, that is not a problem. Always wash your hands before treating your ear. When the drainage stops, the ear should be exposed to the air as much as possible.

MASTOIDECTOMIES MAY BLEED MUCH MORE AND SATURATE THE DRESSING. IF THIS OCCURS, HAVE THE PATIENT SIT UP, CONTROL ANY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR PAIN, AND CALL THE OFFICE IF THIS DOES NOT HELP SLOW THE BLEEDING. DO NOT TAKE THE DRESSING OFF YOURSELF.

Fluids and Diet: Drink fluids throughout the day. You may want to use gum or hard candy to moisten the mouth and encourage swallowing. You may resume regular diet as tolerated. Sense of Balance: Your sense of balance, ambulation or mobility may be affected for a while. Dizziness with or without nausea and vomiting are common immediately after ear surgery. Call the office if it continues for more than seven (7) days. Dizziness may persist somewhat longer after stapedectomy. Hearing: Absorbable packing may be present and decreased hearing may persist for one or two months.

Activities: No straining, heavy lifting or strenuous activities after stapedectomy until the doctor gives his permission.

Other Instructions:

  • Water should be kept out of the ear canal for one month or until the doctor gives his permission.
  • Do not lie on the side of surgery.
  • Do not blow your nose vigorously for one month after surgery. If you sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
  • Clean the suture area only if instructed by your doctor. You may wash your hair the next day provided water is kept out of the ear.

Other Questions: For non-emergent questions, please call our office, 503-581-1567, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Monday through Friday. For emergent questions, call our office and our answering service will page the doctor on call. We have a doctor on call 7 days a week.