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Tympanostomy Tube/Gelfoam Removal




The following is a general guide and should cover most of the common situations that may arise. All patients are to follow their individual surgeon’s recommendations.


Two Weeks After Surgery and Follow-up Appointment Completed: 

  • Don’t bend over, lift anything heavier than 2 pounds, bump your head, or strain to prevent pressure from building up inside the head.
  • If you must sneeze, keep your mouth open. Don’t blow your nose, just dab.
  • No swimming until you are cleared by your surgeon. Your ability to resume swimming and diving depends upon your doctor’s instructions.
  • Most outdoor activities/exercise/sports are allowed.
  • May return to work/school three days after surgery if you are off all narcotic pain medications. No PE/active recess/sports allowed until after 2 week follow-up appointment.



Two Weeks After Surgery and Follow-up Appointment Completed:

  • No contact with water until after follow-up visit; use earplugs or cotton balls covered with Vaseline for shower/bath.

Four Weeks After Surgery:

  • Usually, you will not be allowed to dive for at least 4 weeks and possibly longer. Ask your surgeon at the time of surgery.
  • No swimming in lakes, rivers, or dirty water without earplugs until at least 4 weeks after surgery.
  • No flying for at least 4 weeks after surgery.

Infection: Watch for the following symptoms and report them to your doctor if they occur within the first 1-3 weeks after surgery:

  • Any abnormal discharge from the ear.
  • Any temperature more than 101 degrees for 24 hours.
  • Any increased tenderness or pain.



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