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Discharge Instructions

Discharge Instructions for Surgical Patients who have had:

Middle Ear Surgery


  • If you have an ear cup over your ear, you may remove it on post-op day #2.
  • You may have bloody or watery drainage from the ear canal for up to 10 days which is normal. Keep gauze or band-aid over the ear until bleeding stops.
  • If padding under the ear cup becomes saturated, you may change that and replace it with clean gauze.
  • Care of incision: none unless otherwise instructed. Incision may get wet after post-op day # 2.


  • Take all medications as prescribed.
  • If you have had a Tympanoplasty (with or without Mastoidectomy) and you were given drops - start administering drops over the ear canal packing on post-op day #2. Do NOT disturb the packing IN the ear canal!


  • You may notice a full sensation and/or popping sounds in your ears after surgery. This is normal and should improve after the doctor removes the packing on post-op day # 6-10.
  • If you had surgery to improve your hearing, do not be concerned if the hearing does not improve right away. It may take a few months for the area to heal. The doctor will discuss your progress with you and let you know what to expect.
  • Some patients may experience some numbness in and around the ear for up to 6 months. As sensation returns, you may experience intermittent stabbing pains or dizziness. These should be temporary due to the healing process. A few patients have reported taste disturbance, and this is usually temporary.
  • You will want to avoid getting tired and being around others who have a cold or the flu. Being in crowds may increase your risk of exposure to others who have upper respiratory infections.
  • Be sure to keep all post operative appointments with your doctor.

Call Triage at x1106 Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm OR the Doctor on call if you have any questions or any of the following symptoms:

  • The discharge from your ear develops an odor or is discolored - other than with blood.
  • You suddenly have significant bloody, watery discharge or redness from the incision behind the surgical ear.
  • You have an oral temperature greater than 101 degrees for 24 hours.
  • Any progressively increasing tenderness or pain.
  • Facial paralysis.

Post Operative Ear Surgery Activity Restrictions

  • Do not blow your nose for two weeks following surgery. You can sniff back any mucous that has accumulated in your nose or spit it into a tissue. If you have to sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
  • Avoid bending over, don’t lift anything, don’t bump head, and avoid straining, i.e., avoid constipation, for the first week.
  • You may wash your hair on post-op day #2. Also keep incision behind ear dry until then.
  • Keep ear canal dry for four weeks. You may protect the ear canal with a cotton ball covered with Vaseline/petroleum jelly when bathing, showering, or washing hair.
  • No swimming for one month for ALL ear surgeries.


  • NO running or low impact exercises until post-op day #8
  • NO contact sports or Physical Education until post-op day #30
  • NO flying for 4 to 6 weeks post-op.

If OCR is done:

  • NO sports of any kind for three weeks
  • NO contact sports for six weeks (soccer, football, basketball, etc.)


  • No sports for six weeks
  • No flying for six weeks
  • Slight risk of hearing loss from scuba diving - forever



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