Cosmetic & Functional Rhinoplasty Surgeon, Ear Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgeon

Ear Surgery Post-operative Information


Normal full diet is allowed.


Take pain relief as required. Regular Panadol (paracetamol) is often satisfactory as ear surgery is not usually overly painful.

Take antibiotics as prescribed.

Ear drops will not be required in the immediate post-operative period.

General Instructions

You will often have a turban-like bandage over your ear overnight which will be removed prior to you leaving the hospital. There will be some cotton wool in your ear canal that will require changing 1-2 times a day to prevent any dust from getting onto the inner dressing and collect any ooze.

Many ear operations require an incision behind the ear (stapedectomy often has a small incision down the ear canal). This is closed with dissolving stitches and covered with sticky tapes. These tapes should be left on for at least a week for your surgeon to remove at the first review. If they are starting to peel off after about 5 days they can be removed. Keep incision dry.


No swimming until your surgeon has given you the OK. Wear a shower cap and when washing your hair have someone help you to minimise water on the ear (wrap ear in Glad wrap or put a glass over the ear). The incision behind the ear can get wet after about 10 days.

Avoid strenuous activity, coughing, straining, strong nose blowing and lifting (anything over 5kg) for the first 2 weeks. For all the above ear surgery any activity that causes your ears to pop can compromise your result and should be avoided.

Patients who have had a stapedectomy need to be especially careful with their activity levels. For these patients, it is strongly recommended that they rest at home for the first week (Walking around the house, sitting watching TV OK but no housework, lifting or walking out at the shops), gentle housework and walking at the shops is OK in the second week. These recommendations should be adhered to as very delicate inner ear surgery has taken place and sudden complete hearing loss can occasionally occur with strong physical effort in the early post-op period.

Mastoidectomy (and some Myringoplasty) patients often have packing down their ear canals that is soaked in a yellow creamy antiseptic ointment. This will ooze slowly out the ear canal, is not pus and needs to stay in place for about 3 weeks (1 week for myringoplasty). Make sure you change the cotton wool outside this 1-2 times/day. If the inner packing starts to come out poke it back in if you can or just cut it off.

Follow Up

Most types of ear surgery require a follow up appointment at 7-10 days post-op unless advised otherwise by your surgeon. Make sure this is in place by calling the consulting rooms on 03 9347 0680. Please do not just turn up.


If you have any concerns or queries please contact the surgeon’s rooms within hours on 03 9347 0680. If you feel this is urgent you can contact the surgeon via the switchboard at the hospital where you had your operative procedure (explain you have had a recent operation). If you need to attend the emergency department because of post-operative difficulties please make sure the emergency doctor contacts your surgeon as some treatments can seriously compromise your long-term results.