There is a specific surgery called Tympanoplasty performed when dealing with a defect (or damage) in your eardrum. Among several different types of treatments, this surgery is performed for various reasons like recurring ear infections or a hearing impairment. Some negative effects that typically occur after the surgery may include ear pain or pain in the area where the incision was made, bloody fluid leaking from the ear canal, and dizziness that may last several days after the procedure.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
Your child will stay in the recovery room until he or she wakes up, which may take between 45 minutes and an hour. After your child wakes up, he or she will be taken to the Short Stay post-operative area where you can be with your child. Oftentimes, patients are allowed to go home on the same day of the surgery. If the child experiences excessive nausea, an overnight stay may be necessary. In this case, parents are required to accompany their children. Bloody discharge from the child’s ear, pain, and/or soreness are normal as these symptoms should go away during the first 3-5 days after surgery. The doctor may also prescribe pain medication for your child.
How Long Does It Take To Heal After A Tympanoplasty?
Oftentimes, young patients can return to their regular activities within one or two days after the surgery. This means that parents do not need to restrict regular activities if their children feel that they are back to normal. Vigorous exercises (e.g., swimming), however, should be avoided until you see the doctor again three weeks after the surgery.
General Post-Surgery Care
- Have enough sleep and stay well rested. Sleep with two or more pillows under your head. Sleeping on a reclining couch or chair may also work. In general, sleep is crucial for a quick recovery.
- Stay active. Do enough walking and increase the distance little by little every day. Being physically active improves your blood flow and will prevent common problems like constipation or pneumonia.
- During the first few days after surgery, actions like sudden bending moves or shaking your head fast may cause dizziness. Therefore, try and avoid them. For the first two to four weeks, stay away from vigorous activities like weight lifting, cycling, jogging, and aerobics.
- Lifting anything heavy may be risky and potentially damaging. Heavy does not necessarily mean lifting weight; it can also be groceries, heavy bags, water bottles, a small kid or a pet. Anything that would involve straining must not be entertained for two to four weeks unless otherwise specified by your doctor.
- Besides protecting your body, you should not forget the eardrum as well, as the healing process in certain cases, could be compromised. Participating in activities such as diving and swimming, or playing contact sports, and air traveling should be limited and conducted only if allowed by your doctor.
- While diet does not play an essential role in the healing process, consuming low-fat foods like yogurt, rice, broiled chicken, or toast is your best choice for optimal digestion.
- Make sure you consume enough fluids to stay hydrated.
- Irregularities in bowel movements are common after the surgery. A fiber supplement may be taken to prevent constipation. However, if you experience discomfort such as an inability to have a bowel movement for over two days, please contact your doctor and discuss any possibly required medication.
- All the information related to restarting your medication, as well as introducing new medicines, will be provided to you by your doctor.
- Medications like aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or clopidogrel (Plavix) are blood thinners, and your doctor should know if you’re using them. Your doctor will instruct you on stopping and restarting the use of these medicines.
- Strictly follow prescription when taking pain medicine.
- If the medicine was prescribed to you by your doctor, follow directions in the prescription.
- In case you do not have access to a prescribed pain medicine, you may inquire whether an over-the-counter Tympanoplasty medication would be available for you.
- A bandage placed over an incision can be removed 1 or 2 days after the surgery unless otherwise stated by your doctor.
- If the incision behind your ear is covered in strips of tape, the best way to remove it is to either leave it for at least a week or wait for it to fall off.
- The incision area should be washed and dried every day, without the use of any alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these substances may slacken the healing process.
- Make sure you change the bandage every day. Moreover, the area may be covered with a gauze bandage to prevent leaking.
- The area should be kept dry and sterile.