Top of the page
A tympanomastoidectomy (say "tim-PAN-oh-mas-toyd-ECK-tuh-mee") is surgery to treat frequent ear infections that have damaged the eardrum and tissue in and near the ear. The doctor removes the abnormal or infected tissue in the bony area behind the ear, called the mastoid. The doctor repairs the eardrum. The doctor also may repair the three tiny bones in the middle ear that help with hearing.
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.
Your ear will probably feel blocked or stuffy. This usually gets better as the eardrum heals and after the doctor takes the cotton or gauze out of the ear canal. The doctor will take out the cotton or gauze about 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Some bloody fluid may drain from your ear for 1 to 2 days after the gauze is removed.
At first, you may notice that things taste different. This is because the nerves that control taste are in the middle ear behind the eardrum. This usually gets better as the ear heals.
While you are healing, it's important to avoid getting water in your ear. You will also need to avoid activities that may put pressure on your eardrum. This includes flying in an airplane, swimming, scuba diving, or 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 call line 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 G870 in the search box to learn more about "Tympanomastoidectomy: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: April 15, 2020
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.
©2006-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.