What Is a Tympanoplasty
A Tympanoplasty is surgery done on the eardrum or the middle ear hearing bones. It most often involves the placement of a tissue patch to help close a hole in the eardrum. Damage to the ear may have been due to congenital problems, infection, trauma, or other disease. It may also include removal of disease in the middle ear and repair of hearing bones.
Your Care at Home after Tympanoplasty
You may feel some pain. For relief, use your pain medicine as directed.
There may be blood-stained drainage from your ear for a few days. Some drainage may last for 1-2 weeks.
You may have a small incision behind, in front of, or above the affected ear.
You may have a gauze dressing over your ear. Your doctor will tell you when it may be removed. After the dressing is off, you will need to wear a cotton ball in your ear. This may be changed as needed.
Some people feel dizzy. This usually will last only for about a week or so.
You may have some taste changes when eating.
Because your jaw is close to your ear, you may have soreness or stiffness when you move your jaw. This will also go away.
You may hear some popping or crackling noises. This is normal.
The presence of the dressing, any packing, or swelling may make it harder to hear. Often, best hearing may not be achieved for 3-6 months.
What to Do
For the next 48 hours, raise your head at least 30º when you lie down. Use at least 2 pillows. Do not lie on the side of your treated ear.
Avoid quick head movements.
Avoid strenuous activity or exercise (sports, swimming, or lifting greater than 25 pounds) for 4 weeks. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain other things as well.
The incision behind your ear can get wet after two days, but you must keep water out of your ear until advised by your doctor. When you shower, use a Vaseline® covered cotton ball to keep your ear canal dry.
Do not blow your nose for 1 week. After 1 week, if you must blow your nose, do it gently one side at a time to avoid pressure on your ears.
For the first week, sneeze or cough only with your mouth open.
Clean any incision as instructed by your doctor.
Check with your doctor about air travel. It is often about 4-6 weeks before you will be able to travel by air.
Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking any narcotic pain medicine.
You may be given eardrops to use before your follow-up visit to soften any packing that may need to be removed.
When to Call Your Doctor
Please call your doctor if you notice:
- Bleeding that soaks gauze dressing in 10 minutes or less and continues for one hour.
- Fever greater than 100.5° F taken by mouth.
- Sudden dizzy feeling.
- A large change in hearing.
- Increased swelling, redness, pain, or drainage from the wound.
- If you have any questions or problems.
You will be scheduled to return to the ENT clinic for follow up. Your doctor will check your surgery site. The doctor will talk with you about your progress. This is a good time to have your questions answered.
ENT Clinic: (608) 263-6190 Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
After 5:00 pm or weekends, the clinic number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the ENT doctor on-call and leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back shortly.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/24/2011
Copyright © 01/24/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4919
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