You will come out of surgery with a dressing shaped like a hat. Keep that on until the second day after surgery. Then remove it. You can shower after this dressing comes off.
After you have removed the outer hat, you will see the quarter-sized “healing cap” covering the abutment. Leave this until you see Dr. Eisen in 1 week, at which time he will change it. You can clean the incision by using a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide twice a day until it has healed. Too much hydrogen peroxide can be irritating to the surrounding skin. Apply a small amount of Bacitracin or Neosporin to the incision after cleansing. The sutures are dissolvable and will fall out on their own.
Follow-up with Dr. Eisen 1 week after surgery unless directed otherwise. Call the office (860) 493-1950 to set up the time. He will also want to see you again the following week to change the dressing again. Feel free to make both appointments at the same time when you call the office.
Avoid bending or heavy lifting (over 20 pounds) for three weeks following surgery.
You may experience oozing and drainage from the incision. This is normal, and cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide and water is all you need to do. Numbness and occasional sharp shooting pains are not unusual for as much as several months after surgery.
Driving is permitted if you are not experiencing dizziness or fatigue and you are no longer taking pain medication.
You should make an appointment with your audiologist for 3 months after surgery for a “hearing aid orientation,” which is the day you will receive the external device.
What might you expect following surgery?
Dizziness may occur following surgery. Swelling in the inner ear usually causes this. You may not notice the dizziness until 2-3 days following surgery. This is when the swelling is the greatest. If you are not bleeding, do not have gastric ulcers, and are not allergic to ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) you may take 2- 200 mg tablets every 4-6 hours. This will help the swelling as well as ease any pain. Avoid sudden movements; stand up slowly.
Do not be alarmed if you do not notice improvement in your hearing immediately following surgery. Packing was placed in your ear canal and on the inside of your ear during the operation. The packing in the ear canal will be removed when you see your doctor for your post-operative appointment. The packing on the inside dissolves on its own. If reconstructive surgery was done to improve your hearing, we will test your hearing about 3 months after surgery. Maximum improvement may require 4-6 months.
A bloody or watery discharge is expected during the healing process. Call Dr. Eisen’s office for a yellow or green discharge or excessive discharge. Discharge with foul odor should also be reported.
You will be given a prescription for a pain medication, which may be taken for the first several days after surgery. Mild, intermittent pain is not unusual during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Pain above or in front of the ear is common when chewing. If you have persistent ear pain not relieved by a regular dose of Tylenol or Advil after the first several days, call your doctor’s office.
In case of emergency, call the office 24 hours a day, at (860) 493-1950.