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Discharge Advice After Major Ear Surgery

Myringoplasty, Tympanoplasty, Mastoidectomy or Exostoses

  1. Your ear must be kept clean and dry.
  2. You must not get the ear knocked or banged post-operatively.
  3. The outer cotton wool may be changed, but the inner packing MUST NOT be touched. If the inner packing falls out, do not attempt to replace it, simply cut off the piece that is poking out.
  4. There may be a small discharge from the ear, usually clear or slightly bloodstained, and it may have an antiseptic smell.
  5. Any pus discharge or nasty smell from the inner ear must be checked by a doctor.
  6. Panadol, Painstop or Panadeine to be given for pain or discomfort of the ear.
  7. Keep reasonably quiet. Sport and swimming ARE NOT PERMITTED.

Care at Home

There will be some discharge from the ear, often blood stained. The outer cotton wool may be changed, but the inner packs must not be touched. If they start to come out, cut them short and push the end into the ear with a clean finger. NEVER pull it out further or poke it back with a sharp object.

The wound
Self-dissolving stitches are usually used. Keep the wound clean and dry, gently wiping antiseptic only if it weeps or becomes dirty. Avoid washing the hair for the first week. If you wear glasses, the earpiece may need padding or to be temporarily removed.

Return to work / school
An appointment is usually made for two weeks after the operation. After this, most people can return to full duties. However, no swimming or sport is allowed.

Follow up
The ear takes 6 weeks to 3 months to settle and several appointments are necessary. Do not swim until your specialist gives permission. Long-term ear care is often needed after mastoidectomy.

If you have any concerns after discharge, please call our rooms on 9388 7474. 


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