Postoperative Instructions for Endolymphatic Sac Decompression/Shunt

You will be discharged the same day or the day following surgery in most cases, depending on how late in the day your surgery was performed, your recovery from anesthesia, and possible vertigo.

  • You will be discharged with a head ("mastoid") dressing bandage, which you can remove the day following surgery.
    Either the dressing will slide off or you may cut the bandage behind the knot near the forehead, but away from the eye, with a pair of scissors. The incision and the area behind the ear should be kept clean.
  • Try to keep the incision clean and dry.
    You should clean crusts from the incision area with hydrogen peroxide and pat down gently to dry with a gauze or tissue paper. Any time you are going to clean your ear, please wash your hands thoroughly prior to starting.

Dr. Hammerschlag's surgical teamYou can expect some blood-tinged drainage from the operated ear during the first postoperative week. If this should increase, please call our office.

You may wash your hair 2 days after the operation. Before then, use a shower cap, when bathing/showering.

  • You may be prescribed an antibiotic, please fill the prescription promptly and take all of the medicine as directed until the entire supply is gone.
  • Please take it as instructed. Pain medication will also be proscribed, which is to be used only if Tylenol every four hours is not providing sufficient relief.

Some dull postoperative ear pain is expected. Your physician may prescribe pain medicine to help relieve your discomfort. If your postoperative pain increases and your medication is not helping, please call the office before taking any other medication that we have not prescribed or recommended.

You may have nausea, vomiting, or a low-grade fever for a few days after surgery. This is not unusual. However, if the nausea and vomiting become severe or last more than one day, please call our office. Medication for the nausea may be prescribed. You may take Tylenol every four hours for fever. If your fever should rise above 101 degrees F, please contact our office.

Limit your physical activities for one week. This includes avoiding heavy lifting (over 20 lbs), vigorous exercise, and contact sports.

Do not blow your nose for approximately one week. Any accumulation in the nose should be drawn back into the throat and expectorated through the mouth to avoid infecting the ear. If it is necessary to sneeze, do so with your mouth open to decrease pressure to your ears. Do not hold your nose to avoid sneezing.

If any of the following should occur, please call the office.

  • Persistent bleeding
  • Persistent fever
  • Purulent drainage (pus) from ear or incision
  • Redness with swelling around the suture line
  • Persistent pain
  • Persistent clear watery like fluid draining from the nose or the incision.
  • Facial weakness

Sometimes, with a larger incision behind the ear, the incision may open and drain. If this occurs, please contact our office.

Do not be concerned about your hearing and dizziness until at least one month postoperatively. The hearing may fluctuate as the ear heals. You may also experience some popping and cracking sounds in the ear for several weeks. At times, it may sound like you are "talking in a barrel" or in a tunnel. This is normal and should not cause concern.

Because a nerve for taste passes through your ear, it is not unusual for your taste sensation to be altered for several weeks or months. You may experience a "tinny" or "metallic taste".

You may experience some numbness in your outer ear, earlobe, and the incision area. This is normal, and most of the numbness will be expected to fade over a period of time.

You probably will experience episodic very brief shooting pains, which may be due to nerve regeneration as part of the long-term (several months) healing process.

It is important to return to our office for your postoperative appointment as scheduled. If for some reason, you were not given a postoperative appointment, please call our office at (212) 889 2600.

If you have any questions, please call our office at (212) 889 2600.