Post-Surgery Instructions

  • Patients are typically asked to return to the office in about 5-12 days for a first postoperative appointment. This appointment is commonly made before you leave the hospital at the day of surgery.


  • You should have left the hospital with several prescriptions:
    • An antibiotic. Please use as directed. Typically, these are prescribed for about one week. Sometimes, however, a longer course of antibiotics is prescribed especially if widespread infection was found intraoperatively.
    • Pain medications: Pain in and around the ear (as well as neck pain) is very normal for about one week after surgery. In some cases, pain around the ear can persist for longer than one week. Please use the prescribed pain medications as directed.
    • Eardrops: eardrops are most commonly started about one week after surgery. Therefore, they will be prescribed during your first postoperative visit.
    • Steroids: after some select surgeries, you will be provided with a prescription for a steroid taper. Steroids can have multiple side effects, some of them can be quite serious. Please call the office with any questions or concerns.
  • Bandage: if you have received a bandage around the ear or a head wrap, please remove this on day 2 or 3. Some patients will develop some swelling around the eyelid, which should resolve once the dressing has been removed.


  • Fever: low-grade fever is quite usual after surgery. However, if you experience temperatures of 101.5 or above, please communicate this with us.


  • Taste disturbance: your taste can be off after surgery. This is due to the taste nerve, the chorda tympani, which courses through the ear. This should resolve in a few weeks or months.


  • Numbness around the ear: this is common and will resolve. This might take a few months, however.


  • Water precautions: please keep the ear canal completely dry after surgery until your physician clears you for water exposure. When you take a shower, place a small cotton ball in the ear canal and cover this with Vaseline. This will keep is dry and the cotton ball will prevent the Vaseline from entering the ear canal.


  • Packing: typically, the ear canal will be packed with a spongy material after surgery. This packing is important during the healing process and should remain in place. The eardrops will help dissolve/wash-out the packing.


  • Noseblowing/ear popping: please do not blow your nose for several weeks after surgery. Also, please do not inflate your Eustachian tubes by performing a so called Valsalva maneuver (hold your nose and blow air in your cheeks with your mouth closed).


  • Dizziness and balance issues: this is quite common after ear surgery and should resolve after a few days. With true vertigo (room spinning), please call the office.


  • Airtravel: you should not fly for about 6 weeks following ear surgery.
    General activity level: please avoid strenuous activities for about 2 weeks following ear surgery.