Post Op Instructions

Ear Canal Reconstruction – Postop Care

LOCAL WOUND CARE

1. The plastic cup dressing may be removed in the early afternoon the day following surgery. The shiny gauze behind the ear may be removed and discarded. The cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear should be removed. Do not remove any sponges from the ear canal. All the stitches in the incision behind the ear are self-dissolving and do not require removal.

During the first four days after surgery the incision behind the ear should be gently cleaned, once a day, with a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol, dried with a clean cotton ball, then a thin coating of antibiotic first-aid ointment applied along the incision. Swelling and bruising around the ear or in the temple area is common.

2. The ear canal is filled with special sponges to hold the new ear drum and skin grafts in place. It is important to keep these sponges moistened by using the prescribed ear drops twice a day. Five to six drops should be placed directly on the sponges and they should be allowed to soak in, two times each day. Some brownish-to-tan drainage is normal. Yellow or green foul smelling drainage may be a sign of infection, and you should call the office if this occurs.

3. Four days after surgery, you may wash your hair, and the incision behind the ear may get wet in the shower. The incision should be gently dried after the shower and may be left dry, or if preferred, a thin coating of antibiotic first-aid ointment may be applied. However, the ear canal must be kept dry until Dr. Nguyen says you may get it wet. To prevent water from entering the ear canal when bathing, take a cotton ball and massage Vaseline into it. Then place this Vaseline-cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear canal. Do not push the cotton ball deep into the ear canal. Once finished bathing, remove the Vaseline-cotton ball and wipe excess Vaseline with a tissue, and place a clean, dry cotton ball into the outer hollow of the ear.

4. Gentle nose blowing is OK. Vigorous physical exercise or activity should be avoided for two to three weeks following surgery.

5. The first office visit after the surgery should be in approximately three weeks.


Skull Base Surgery – Post-Op Care

LOCAL WOUND CARE

Your dressing should have been removed prior to your discharge from the hospital. The incision can get wet in the shower but should not be soaked in a bathtub or pool. You may shampoo, but do not scrub the incision area. Pat the area dry after bathing, and leave it open to the air. There is no need to put ointment or other medicines on the incision. Staples will be removed at the time of our two-week post-operative visit.

ACTIVITIES

Try to spend the entire day out of bed. Begin to be active as much as your body allows you. Listen to your body, and if tired, take some rest. Avoid taking long naps during the day, since doing so will disturb your normal sleep pattern. Limit daytime naps to 20-30 minutes at a time.

Imbalance is common in early recovery, and the best way to improve it is to be up and about. However, do not do vigorous activity (weightlifting, vigorous exercise, strenuous yard work, etc.) for a total of one month after surgery. If constipated, take a laxative, rather than straining while going to the bathroom.

FACIAL NERVE WEAKNESS

Occasionally after this type of surgery, facial nerve (the nerve of facial movement) weakness may occur in a delayed fashion. If this occurs, please call us during daytime hours so that we can prescribe some anti-inflammatory steroids to help speed recovery of this nerve function. Maintaining lubrication of the eye is most important if facial nerve weakness is present. During the day, frequent use of moisturizing eye drops is required (at least once per hour). At night, ophthalmologic ointment should be used in the affected eye.

CEREBRAL SPINAL FLUID LEAK

Cerebral spinal fluid leakage may occur after skull base surgery. It can leak via the incision, or from the nose by way of the Eustachian tube. Cerebral spinal fluid is clear and as thin as water. Should you notice a clear, water-like drainage from your nose or incision, please call us during daytime hours to arrange for evaluation of this problem.


Stapedectomy – Post-Op Care

LOCAL WOUND CARE

1. The band-aid may be removed and left off the morning after surgery. The cotton ball should be changed at least daily until the ear stops draining (usually 10-14 days). The incision on the ear canal surface of the tragus (the little flap in front of the ear canal) is closed with stitches that dissolve by themselves.

2. The ear canal is filled with an antibiotic ointment. It will usually be mixed with some blood and will melt and drain from the ear canal during the first 10-14 days after surgery. This brownish-to-tan-colored drainage is normal. Yellow or geen drainage with a foul smell may be a sign of infection, and you should call the office if this occurs.

3. You may wash your hair the day after surgery. However, the ear canal must be kept dry until Dr. Nguyen says you may get it wet. To prevent water from entering the ear canal when bathing, take a cotton ball and massage Vaseline into it. Then place this Vaseline-covered cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear canal. Do not push the cotton ball deep into the ear canal. Once you are finished bathing, remove the Vaseline-cotton ball, wipe away any excess Vaseline with a tissue, and place a clean, dry cotton ball into the outer hollow of the ear.

4. Gentle nose blowing is OK. Vigorous physical exercise or activity should be avoided for two to three weeks following surgery.

5. The first office visit after the surgery should be in approximately three weeks.


Tympanoplasty (with or w/o Mastoidectomy)

LOCAL WOUND CARE

1. The plastic cup dressing may be removed in the early afternoon on the day following surgery. The shiny gauze behind the ear may be removed and discarded. The cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear should be removed and replaced with a clean cotton ball at least once a day. All the stitches in the incision behind the ear are self-dissolving and do not require removal. Swelling and bruising around the ear or in the temple area is common.

Once every day for the first four days after surgery, the incision behind the ear should be gently cleaned with a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol, and dried with a clean cotton ball. A thin coating of antibiotic first-aid ointment should then be applied along the incision.

2. The ear canal is filled with an antibiotic ointment. It will usually be mixed with some blood and will melt and drain from the ear canal during the first 10-14 days after surgery. This brownish-to-tan drainage is normal. Yellow or green drainage with a foul smell may be a sign of infection, and you should call the office if this occurs.

3. Four days after surgery, you may wash your hair, and the incision behind the ear may get wet in the shower. The incision should be gently dried after the shower and may be left dry, or if preferred, a thin coating of antibiotic first-aid ointment may be applied. However, the ear canal must be kept dry until Dr. Nguyen says you may get it wet. To prevent water from entering the ear canal when bathing, take a cotton ball and massage Vaseline into it. Place this Vaseline-cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear canal. Do not push the cotton ball deep into the ear canal. Once you are finished bathing, remove the Vaseline-cotton ball, wipe any excess Vaseline with a tissue, and place a clean, dry cotton ball into the outer hollow of the ear.

4. Gentle nose blowing is OK. Vigorous physical exercise or activity should be avoided for two to three weeks following surgery..

5. The first office visit after the surgery should be in approximately three weeks.