Top of the page
Tympanoplasty (say "tim-PAN-oh-plass-tee") is surgery to repair a hole in the eardrum. The surgery may have been done to improve hearing or to stop frequent ear infections that did not get better with other treatments.
You may feel dizzy for a few days after surgery. The cut (incision) the doctor made behind your ear may be sore, and you may have ear pain for about a week. Some bloody fluid may drain from your ear canal and the incision.
Your ear will probably feel blocked or stuffy. You may not be able to hear as well as before. This usually gets better as the eardrum heals and after the doctor takes the cotton or gauze packing out of the ear canal. The doctor will take out the packing 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Your stitches may dissolve on their own, or the doctor may need to take them out. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
It may take time before your hearing gets better. Your doctor will test your hearing after your ear has healed. This may be 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.
While you are healing, it's important to avoid getting water in your ear. You will also need to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and other activities that may put pressure on your eardrum. This includes flying in an airplane, swimming, scuba diving, and playing contact sports.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter E916 in the search box to learn more about "Tympanoplasty: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.