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Discharge Instructions for Tympanoplasty

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

Home care

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

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

  • Don't do activities that involve heavy lifting and straining.

  • Sneeze with your mouth open.

  • Shower as needed, starting 3 days after your surgery or when your healthcare provider says you can. You may let water 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 healthcare provider's permission before doing strenuous exercises, such as weightlifting or swimming.

  • Don't fly in a plane until your healthcare provider says it is OK to do so.

  • 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 come back in a few months.

  • Take your medicine exactly as your healthcare provider says.

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 healthcare provider when you may go back to work. There may be special restrictions, depending upon the kind of work you do.

When to seek medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Ear pain

  • Problems with balance or walking

  • 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 of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Facial droop

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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