POST OPERATIVE CARE AFTER EAR SURGERY (MASTOIDECTOMY, EXOSTOSES, OR TYMPANOPLASTY)
- You may be discharged the same day of your operation or stay overnight, depending on the extent of the surgery required.
- Access for surgery is usually through an incision behind the ear that is closed with dissolvable sutures that do not need to be removed.
- Usually a head bandage is placed at the completion of surgery and is removed the next morning.
- There will be dissolvable packing in the ear canal, and there may be additional packing with BIPP (bismuth iodine) dressing that aids healing. This will be covered by a cotton wool ball in the most outer part of the ear. The cotton ball may have blood discharge on it and should be changed when blood stained. Be careful not to pull out any deeper packing when changing the cotton ball. If a loop of packing does come loose it can be gently pushed back in the ear. If this causes pain it should be left alone and the dressing trimmed. BIPP packing will usually be removed in the consulting rooms 2 weeks after surgery.
- There will be mild pain at the operative site which can usually be managed with simple analgesia (paracetamol or codeine). You may notice significant discomfort when chewing initially and if the ear canal has been widened this may last for several weeks. The wound should be kept dry for 72 hours postoperatively. After that you may wash your hair, however it is wise to avoid water in the ear canal.
- After the procedure it is good to do gentle walking and daily activities. You may experience dizziness, tinnitus and unusual sounds in the first 1-2 weeks. The operated ear will be blocked and hearing reduced while the packing remains in situ. Strenuous activity, straining, bending over and nose blowing should be avoided to reduce the risk of postoperative complications and bleeding.
- It is normal to have some blood stained discharge from the ear canal after surgery. It is also normal to have mild redness associated with a new wound that is healing.
- If you have severe pain or dizziness, significant swelling or redness, or an offensive smelling discharge please contact me.
- Postoperative care is very important in ear surgery to maximise results. This involves frequent postoperative visits for the first 3 months to ensure good progress.
- The first postoperative appointment is usually 2 weeks post-surgery. Any removable packing is taken out. This may be replaced with further packing or with ointment until full healing is achieved.