Your Care After A Tympanoplasty
Tympanoplasty is performed to repair defects in the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and/or the little bones of hearing in the middle ear (ossiculoplasty) to prevent infection and/or to improve hearing.
Following your surgery
- NO water in the ear.
Two days after your surgery you can wash your hair if the ear canal packing is in place.
To avoid water in the ear, you may use Vaseline and cotton in the outer ear. Precaution should be followed for one week.
Change the cotton in the outer ear canal whenever necessary, making certain your hands and the cotton are clean. Some drainage is normal and this decreases over 1-2 weeks.
- Do not blow your nose for two weeks following surgery. You can "sniff" and sneeze with your mouth open.
- Activity Restrictions:
- No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for three weeks.
- You may drive if you are not having any dizziness.
- No flying for two weeks following surgery.
You will probably receive an antibiotic with instructions when you are discharged from the hospital. After the first postoperative office visit one week after, you may start using combination antibiotic steroid eardrops. Please apply to operated ear canal, as instructed, until Dr. Hammerschlag tells you to stop. You may also take Tylenol (acetaminophen) for discomfort.
At the time of surgery, packing will be placed in your ear canal. In most cases, absorbable packing will be used. This type of packing dissolves in several weeks with the continued use of prescribed drops. You should change the cotton in the outer ear since you may continue to have a small amount of drainage from the ear for several weeks after surgery. During this time, you will notice diminished hearing in the operated ear. After the packing is removed it may take some time for your hearing to reach its improved level. Therefore, a postoperative hearing test may not be performed until six weeks after surgery.
You may notice a temporary change in your sense of taste following surgery since the nerve that supplies the tongue may be disturbed during surgery.
Postoperative office visits:
Please set up an appointment to see the Dr. Hammerschlag one week after surgery. At that time, he will examine you and remove sutures if indicated. You may be started on topical eardrops as noted above.
Future visits will be specified at that time. Please note that cholesteatoma (and chronic otitis media) require continued monitoring every 6-12 months after surgery as indicated by your doctor.
If you have sutures or stainless steel staples they will be removed in approximately one week following surgery. In children, we frequently use absorbable (dissolvable) sutures so they will not need to be removed. After the sutures/staples are removed, you may cleanse the incision with soap and water (dry well). Unless otherwise instructed, it will not be necessary to reapply a dressing to the incision.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, notify us immediately:
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Diminution, fluctuations, or distortion in hearing after the packing is removed.
- Constant ear pain and/or drainage after the packing is removed.