What Is a Tympanoplasty
A Tympanoplasty is surgery done on the
eardrum or the middle ear hearing bones. It
most often involves the placement of a
tissue patch to help close a hole in the
eardrum. Damage to the ear may have been
due to congenital problems, infection,
trauma, or other disease. It may also include
removal of middle ear disease and repair the
What to expect after Tympanoplasty
ξ You may feel some pain and pressure
like feeling. For relief, use your pain
medicine as directed.
ξ Because your jaw is close to your
ear, you may have soreness or
stiffness when you move your jaw.
ξ There may be blood-stained drainage
from your ear for a few days. Some
drainage may last for 1-2 weeks.
ξ You may have a small incision
behind, in front of, or above the
ξ You may have a gauze dressing over
your ear. Your doctor will tell you
when it may be removed. After the
dressing is off, you will need to wear
a cotton ball in your ear. This may
be changed as needed.
ξ You may have packing inside your
ear canal. The packing may dissolve
or it will be removed at your first
follow up visit. Dissolvable packing
may look dark red or black on your
cotton ball, this is normal.
ξ You may hear some popping or
crackling noises. This is normal.
ξ Some people feel dizzy. This usually
will last only for about a week or so.
ξ You may have some taste changes
ξ The presence of the dressing, any
packing, or swelling may make it
harder to hear. Often, best hearing
may not be achieved for 3-6 months.
What to Do
ξ If you have a Velcro type headband
holding your dressing in place, it
should be left in place the first night
after surgery, but it is OK to loosen
the band and reattach it if it feels too
ξ The incision can get wet after two
days, but you must keep water out of
your ear until advised by your doctor.
When you shower, put a Vaseline®
covered cotton ball in the bowl of
your ear to seal the canal and keep
your ear canal dry.
ξ Use ear drops as directed by your
ξ If you have packing inside your ear
canal, do not remove it. You may
notice some packing material on
your cotton ball when you change it.
ξ For the next 48 hours, raise your
head at least 30º when you lie down.
Use at least 2 pillows. Do not lie on
the side of your treated ear.
ξ Avoid quick head movements.
ξ Avoid strenuous activity for 4 weeks
or as your doctor advises. No
jogging, aerobics, or lifting greater
than 25 pounds during that time. No
swimming for at least 2 months or
until your doctor advises.
ξ Do not blow your nose for 1 week.
After 1 week, if you must blow your
nose, do it gently one side at a time
to avoid pressure on your ears.
ξ For the first week, sneeze or cough
only with your mouth open.
ξ Check with your doctor about air
travel. It is often about 4-6 weeks
before you will be able to travel by a
ξ Do not drive or drink alcohol while
taking any narcotic pain medicine.
When to Call Your Doctor
Please call your doctor if you notice:
ξ Bleeding that soaks through 6 gauze
dressings or cotton balls in one hour.
ξ Fever greater than 100.5 θ F taken by
ξ Sudden dizzy feeling.
ξ A large decrease in your hearing.
ξ Increased swelling, redness, pain, or
drainage from the wound.
ξ If you have any questions or
You will be scheduled to return to the ENT
clinic for follow up. Your doctor will check
your surgery site. The doctor will talk with
you about your progress. This is a good
time to have your questions answered.
ENT Clinic: (608) 263-6190 Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
After 5:00 pm or weekends, and holidays, the clinic number will be answered by the paging
operator. Ask for the ENT doctor on-call. Leave your name and phone number with the area
code. The doctor will call you back shortly.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4919