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EAR SURGERY

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD EAR SURGERY

DO NOT ALLOW WATER OR MOISTURE IN OR AROUND THE EAR CANAL OR INCISION.

DO NOT WASH YOUR HAIR UNTIL AFTER YOUR FIRST VISIT FOLLOWING SURGERY, unless your physician gives you approval. Precautions must be taken to avoid any kind of water or moisture in your ear incision.

DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE. Avoid sneezing, if unavoidable, sneeze with mouth open.

SLEEP WITH YOUR HEAD PROPPED UP (e.g. recliner, two pillows, wood under mattress) for the first few nights after surgery or until sutures are removed. This will help reduce swelling and promote drainage

ACTIVITY: DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING heavier that 5 to 10 pounds for one week. Then you may increase on a weekly basis; example 2nd week, 10 to 20 pounds; 3rd  week 20 to 30 pounds; 4th week usual normal activity.  Usually normal activity can be resumed after one month.

STRENUOUS ACTIVITY.  Avoid (e.g. any activity that raises heart rate and/or blood pressure).  Walking at a slow to medium pace encouraged.

DO NOT STRAIN if constipation is a problem, use a laxative.

AVOID QUICK HEAD AND BODY MOVEMENTS, THEY CAN CAUSE DIZZINESS. Some imbalance after surgery is normal, however spinning dizziness (vertigo) should be reported.

IF THE EAR CANAL IS PACKED, DO NOT REMOVE PACKING.

AIRPLANE TRAVEL IS USUALLY RESTRICTED FOR ONE MONTH; discuss flying plans with your doctor and measures to protect your ears.

CHANGE THE DRESSING OVER YOUR EAR OR INCISION at least twice each day.  Make sure you or your assistant have CLEAN, DRY HANDS when changing the dressing (You will be given supplies including dressings and tape).  *Use a cotton-tipped applicator to clean incision, first with hydrogen peroxide followed by 70% alcohol solution.  Then apply a layer of Bacitracin Ointment twice daily. Cover with appropriate dressing, Nurse or physician will advise.

LOOK FOR SIGNS OF INFECTION if you have an incision, inspect it daily.  Report increased pain, redness, swelling, or drainage to your physician.

SOME DRAINAGE FROM YOUR EAR IS NORMAL AFTER SURGERY. You will probably hear unusual sounds until total healing is complete, generally is 4 to 6 weeks.

CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IF: temperature rises to 101 degrees or greater, ear drainage increases rather than decreases, or if drainage develops an odor.

Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, return to the clinic in one week for packing and/or suture removal. You should be given an appointment when you leave the hospital after surgery. You should be given an appointment when you leave the hospital after surgery. If not, please call for an appointment.  Depending on the nature of the ear procedure, post-op appointments may be scheduled every 2 to 3 weeks after surgery to insure proper healing. Our staff doctors are assisted by 2 associate doctors to promote quality care.

GENERAL LONG TERM INFORMATION:

  • Do not fly if you have an upper respiratory infection
  • Patients who have had mastoidectomy or canalplasty will need appointments every 6 to 12 months for ear cleanings for the remainder of their lives as their ears are no longer self-cleaning as normal ears usually are.
  • All patients who have had ear surgery should come for appointments at least once yearly.
 
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