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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.
Your child may feel dizzy for a few days after surgery. The cut (incision) the doctor made behind your child's ear may be sore, and your child may have ear pain for about a week. Some bloody fluid may drain from your child's ear canal and the incision.
Your child's ear will probably feel blocked or stuffy. Your child 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 child's 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 child's hearing gets better. Your doctor will test your child's hearing after the ear has healed. This may be 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.
While your child is healing, it's important that water does not get in his or her ear. Your child will also need to avoid strenuous exercise and other activities that may put pressure on the eardrum. This includes flying in an airplane, swimming, and playing contact sports.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's 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 your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: May 4, 2022
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.
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