Tympanoplasty With or Without Mastoidectomy 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. 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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-covered cotton ball, wipe 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.