Ear Surgery

Your physician will advise you when to schedule your follow-up appointment after surgery. It is important for you to return for these appointments.

DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE FOLLOWING SURGERY. Your physician will inform you when it is all right for you to do so. Any accumulated serection in the nose should be drawn back and expectorated through the mouth to avoid infecting the ear. If you sneeze, do so with your mouth open. Do not hold your nose to avoid sneezing. Do not play musical wind instruments.

Avoid any activity for 3-4 months that might injure the ears – this includes wrestling, boxing, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, hockey, jogging and any other activity involving striking the head.

Scrub your hands with soap and water before treating the ear. A clean cloth moistened with warm water may be used to clean the outer ear as often as necessary for cleanliness and comfort. Do not use oil or allow water to enter the ear canal for approximately 3 weeks after your surgery. You may shampoo your hair following surgery. To avoid water entering the canal, place a cotton ball in the ear and cover the cotton with Vaseline to form a seal.

If ear drops are to be instilled, position the head with the affected ear up during instillation and remain in this position for up to 5-10 minutes to facilitate the absorption of the drops. Then place a clean cotton ball in the ear for about an hour.

The ear should be exposed to air as much as possible. A cotton ball should be placed in the ear during the day while combing the hair and during exposure to a dusty atmosphere and may be placed in the ear canal dring the night to prevent drainage on the pillow. There may be red-tinged drainage from your ear, if this persists longer than four days or becomes thick and yellow, call your physician.

If a dressing is in place, it may be removed the first day after your surgery and replaced with a clean gauze dressing. Do not remove any packing that may be in your ear! If sutures are in place, apply ointment as directed by your physician. Your sutures (stitches) will be removed at your follow-up visit after surgery. Your hearing may be muffled after surgery.

If possible, avoid sleeping on the operated ear/ears until your physician tells you it is OK to do so.

If you have had any reconstructive ear surgery and glasses must be worn during the first week following surgery, do now allow the bows to rest on the ears until stitches have been removed. The weight and shape of the bow may injur the ear.

Because a nerve for taste passes through the ear, it is not unusual for taste sensation to be altered slightly for several weeks or months following the Stapedectomy operation. If you notice any facial weakness, call your physician immediately.

Your equilibrium may be affected and you may have periods of vertigo or dizziness for the first several days. Your physician may prescribe medications for these symptoms.

A prescription for pain medication will be given; take as directed. If you do not need the prescribed medication and want to take an over-the-counter medication, only take Tylenol. Do not use Aspirin products or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve or Advil). Do not take Tylenol with your pain medication. You may alternate Tylenol with your medication providing you wait 4-6 hours between doses.