What to expect and do after Ear Surgery

Ear surgery is often performed as day-case surgery, in which case you can expect to go home on the same day as the surgery. Dr Van Straten may however opt to keep you overnight in hospital. This will be communicated to you when booking the surgery

Certain types of ear surgery require an incision behind your ear – you will then wake up with a bandage around your head.  Other types are done though the ear canal –  you will then only have a small dressing over the ear. In both cases a plug is placed inside your ear canal. Minor oozing of bloody fluid from your ear canal can be expected to continue for a couple of days.

A blocked ear as well as ringing in the ear (tinnitus) is normal for the first 2 – 3 weeks following surgery. This improves after the ear plug is removed at your first post-op follow-up.

Back home:

  • The bandage or dressing can be removed 2 days after the surgery. You will then start with the antibiotic/steroid ear drops which are dropped onto the ear plug twice daily.
  • The small plasters behind the ear over the incision should not be removed for another 7 days.
  • Keep the ear dry for at least 6 weeks following surgery. A piece of cotton wool with some Vaseline is useful in keeping water out of the ear when washing hair or taking a shower.

Pain and pain control:

This is generally not a very painful operation, but post-op pain medication will be provided. Use them as directed on your prescription.

When to call me:

  • Sudden pain and/or severe pressure in the ear.
  • Any discharge from your ear.

Follow up:

I would like to see you after about 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery to remove the plug and remove any crusts from the ear. I then usually need to see you again after another month. At three months post-surgery you will need go for a post-operative hearing test.

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