Tympanoplasty Post-Operative Care


  • This surgery is typically performed for a perforation in the tympanic membrane. 

  • Drainage from the ear is common after surgery (blood-tinged). This should gradually decrease. 

  • It is typically same-day outpatient surgery. Occasionally, overnight stay is recommended. 

  • The ear canal will contain packing that will be removed in the post-operative period. 

  • Dizziness may occur but should resolve within 24 hours. 

  • Hearing may be worse after surgery due to the packing. 

  • Popping and crackling in the ear is expected. 


Avoid air travel for 4 weeks after surgery and check with your surgeon before planning a trip. 

  • Non-strenuous activity can be resumed on the day after surgery and it is encouraged to be active and mobile. This will reduce risk 
of deep venous thromboses (or blood clots). 

  • Avoid lifting > 15 lbs. for 2 weeks. 

  • No sports and vigorous exercise for 4 weeks. 

  • No nose blowing for 4 weeks. Sneeze with your mouth open. 

  • No swimming until cleared by your surgeon. 

Water Precautions

  • The ear must be kept dry for at least 4 weeks. Consult with your surgeon before getting ear wet. 

  • Place a firm cotton ball in the ear canal and apply Vaseline on the outside of the cotton ball for showering/ba thing. Wash children’s 
hair in the sink for better control. You may shower 2 days after surgery. 


  • Clear liquids will be started immediately after surgery. Light food is best on the day of surgery. Regular diet can be resumed as tolerated. 

Wound Care

  • You may have a bulky ear dressing that should be kept in place for 24 hrs. 

  • If there is a cotton ball at the entrance to the ear canal, you may change this as needed. 

  • Do not remove packing from the ear canal. 

  • Apply antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, polysporin, or triple antibiotic) to the incision behind your ear twice daily. (You may not have 
an incision behind the ear). 


  • You may resume your preoperative medications unless otherwise specified by your doctor. 

  • Pain control 

      • You have been provided with a prescription for a opioid pain medication (hydrocodone/acetaminophen or oxycodone/ac- etaminophen). There are plenty of patients who never need to take this medication. It may be needed for the first few days or up to a week after surgery. 
      • This medication can cause constipation, so start a stool softener (Miralax, Colace, or Senokot) while taking this medica- tion. 
      • Many patients only need ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) after surgery for pain control. You can tak e 400 mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours. 
      • You can also use Tylenol or acetaminophen but do not take this if you are taking hydrocodone/acetaminophen or oxyco- done/acetaminophen. 
      • Maximum daily dose of Tylenol (acetaminophen) is 3000mg from all sources.
  • Ear drops 
    • You likely will be dispensed ear drops after surgery. Instructions on use will be provided by your surgeon. 


You will be scheduled for a follow-up 1-3 weeks after surgery. 
Call Lakeside ENT & Allergy at (585) 394-8800 if you develop any of the following symptoms:
  • Fever >101.5

  • Poorly controlled pain
  • Worsening dizziness 
  • Thick pus or mucous draining from your ear
  • Mental status changes 
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