Discharge Instructions for Tympanoplasty

You had a procedure called tympanoplasty to repair a damaged eardrum, stop infection, and improve hearing. Here's what you need to do at home following this procedure.

Home care

  • Keep your head slightly elevated for the first 24 hours after you go home.

  • Avoid doing anything that makes your ears pop. Don’t blow your nose or exhale with your nose held closed.

  • Avoid activities that involve heavy lifting and straining.

  • Sneeze with your mouth open.

  • Shower as necessary, starting 3 days after your surgery. You may allow water to run across any external wounds, but don’t scrub them.

  • Keep the ear dry. You can place a cotton ball dabbed with a small amount of petroleum jelly in the outer ear to keep water out during a bath or shower.

  • Get your doctor's permission before flying in a plane or swimming.

  • Expect a small amount of drainage from the ear.

  • Don't be alarmed if the skin of your outer ear is numb. This is a result of the surgery. The feeling should return in a few months.

  • Take your medication exactly as directed.

Follow-up care

  • Make follow-up appointments as directed by our staff. Your ear has special packing material in it. Parts of this material may need to be removed at specific times.

  • Ask your doctor when you may return to work. There may be special restrictions, depending upon the kind of work you do.

When to seek medical care

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased redness or swelling around the ear

  • Dizziness

  • Foul-smelling drainage from the ear or the incision

  • Persistent headache

  • Double vision or blurred vision

  • Fever above 101.0°F (38.3°C)

  • Facial droop