Discharge Instructions for Mastoidectomy (Pediatric)

Your child had a procedure called mastoidectomy. This is the surgical removal of the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear. A mastoidectomy is most often done to treat infection in the mastoid bone or surrounding tissue. Here's what you need to know about home care.

What to expect

  • Dizziness

  • Hearing problems

  • Bloody or watery drainage

  • Pain

  • Loss of taste

Ear and incision care

  • Give your child medication exactly as directed.

  • Keep your child’s head elevated as instructed by the surgeon.

  • Discourage your child from blowing his or her nose. Don’t allow your child to hold the nose closed.

  • Show your child how to sneeze with the mouth open.

  • Follow the surgeon's instructions for  baths and showers.


  • Make sure your child avoids activities that involve heavy lifting and straining.

  • Get your healthcare provider's permission before allowing your child to fly in a plane or swim.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when your child may return to school.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as advised. It is important to go to all follow-up appointments so the surgeon can make sure your child is healing well and has no complications.

When to call your healthcare provider

Unless advised otherwise by your child’s healthcare provider, call the provider right away if:

  • Your child is of any age and has repeated fevers above 104°F (40°C).

  • Your child is younger than 2 years of age and a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) continues for more than 1 day.

  • Your child is 2 years old or older and a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) continues for more than 3 days.

Also, call the surgeon right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Continued or increased ear drainage

  • Drainage that has an odor or is green or yellow

  • Continued ear pain

  • Pain, redness or swelling behind the ear

  • Hearing problems

  • Weakness or numbness on the side of the face

  • Continued dizziness

  • Facial droop