Ear Canal Reconstruction Post-Op Care
- 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. Remove the cotton ball in the outer hollow of the ear. 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.
Once every day for the first four days after surgery, gently clean the incision behind the ear with a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol and then dry the area with a clean cotton ball. Apply a thin coating of antibiotic first-aid ointment along the incision. Swelling and bruising around the ear or in the temple area is common.
- The ear canal is filled with special sponges to hold the new eardrum and skin grafts in place. It is important to keep these sponges moistened by using the prescribed ear drops twice a day. Place five to six drops directly on the sponges, allowing the drops 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.
- 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, try to keep the ear canal dry until your doctor 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 finished bathing, remove the Vaseline-covered cotton ball, wipe away any excess Vaseline with a tissue and place a clean, dry cotton ball into the outer hollow of the ear.
- Gentle nose blowing is okay. Avoid vigorous physical exercise or activity for two to three weeks following surgery.
- The first office visit after the surgery should be in approximately three weeks.