Tympanoplasty/Mastoidectomy

Expectations: Your ear will be plugged and congested for up to a month after the surgery.  This is because there is self-dissolving material that is placed into the ear during the surgery.  There is also blood and fluid from the surgery that must be cleared by the body.  This takes about a month to clear up.  Your hearing will also be decreased on the operated side.  This will improve as the eardrum heals.  It is normal to have some drainage of old blood and mucous for a week after the surgery.  This will improve after ear cleaning on follow-up visits.  You may have some taste disturbance after the surgery.  This is usually temporary and will take a few weeks to resolve.

Dressing:  The plastic cup dressing should stay on the operated ear through the first post-operative day.  You can take off the dressing the morning after surgery.

Activity:  Please do not blow your nose.  If you need to sneeze, please sneeze with your mouth open.  Please do not perform any strenuous activity or heavy lifting greater than a gallon of milk for the first week.  This helps to minimize the risk of bleeding.  If you have any constipation, please take an over-the-counter stool softener to minimize straining as this will also incite bleeding.  Please take great care to perform dry ear precautions (see below).  You may shower 2 days after the surgery.  Typically, one can return to work/school about 1 week after the surgery.

Dry ear precautions: When showering or bathing, it is important to rub some VaselineĀ® on a cotton ball and use this to block the hole of the ear canal on the operated side.  This will help seal out water from the ear canal. Water increases the chance of infection and decrease success of the surgery.

Pain:  Generally, this is a well tolerated procedure with minimal pain.  Please take the prescribed pain killers as needed.

Antibiotics:  You may be prescribed oral antibiotics and/or ear drops.  Please use these as instructed.

Diet: You can eat a normal diet.  You may have some nausea after the procedure.  However, this will usually pass within 24 hours of the surgery.

Precautions:  There are a few things you should look for after the surgery.  If you have significant, brisk bleeding of bright, red blood, then you should call the office or the physician on call.  If you have severe dizziness or nausea/vomiting, please call the office or the physician on call or go to the nearest emergency room.  If there is any weakness or paralysis of the face, then please call the office or the physician on call immediately.

Follow up:  You should have a follow-up visit around 1-2 week(s) after the surgery.  The ear canal is debrided at that visit.  If you do not already have an appointment, please call the office and schedule an appointment at 520-296-8500.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitant to contact us.

We hope you have a pleasant experience and a speedy recovery.