Aural Atresia Repair in Children: What to Expect at Home

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Your Child's Recovery

Your child may have ear pain for up to 2 weeks after surgery. He or she may have good days and bad days. Older children may have less pain than younger children. Your child may feel dizzy for several hours after surgery. This is common.

Sometimes, surgery affects nerves in the face. Your child's doctor may treat this with medicines called corticosteroids. In some cases, a doctor may do surgery to fix the nerve.

Your child will feel tired for several days and then will slowly become more active. He or she should be able to go back to school or daycare within a week. Your child's hearing may improve within 3 months after surgery.

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.

How can you care for your child at home?

Activity

  • Have your child stay in bed for the first few days. When your child is ready, he or she can begin playing again. Encourage quiet indoor play for the first 3 to 5 days.
  • Your child will probably be able to go back to school or daycare within a week.
  • For about 2 weeks, do not let your child play hard. Take care that your child does not do anything that would turn him or her upside down, such as playing on monkey bars or doing somersaults. Also keep your child from sports, bike riding, or running until your doctor says it is okay.
  • For about 7 days, keep your child away from crowds or people that you know have a cold or the flu. This can help keep your child from getting an infection.
  • Try to have your child avoid coughing, nose blowing, or throat clearing. Wipe his or her nose gently if needed. Tell your child to open his or her mouth when sneezing and to make a sound to prevent pressure buildup.
  • Keep the ear covered during baths to keep water from getting in the ear.

Diet

  • Have your child drink plenty of fluids for the first 24 hours to avoid becoming dehydrated. Use clear fluids, such as water, apple juice, and flavoured ice pops.
  • You may notice a change in your child's bowel habits right after surgery. This is common. If your child has not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, call your doctor or nurse call line.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart his or her medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, have your child take it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you think the pain medicine is making your child sick to his or her stomach:
    • Give the medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, be sure your child takes them as directed. Your child should not stop taking them just because he or she feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • If your child gets medicine for dizziness, be sure he or she takes it as directed.

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 call line 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.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • The muscles in your child's face do not move normally when he or she smiles or cries.
  • Your child has a fever over 38°C that will not come down, even after he or she takes medicine to lower the fever.
  • Your child has pain that does not get better after he or she takes pain medicines.
  • Your child has drainage from the ear.
  • Your child vomits severely.

Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child does not have a bowel movement after taking a laxative.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: July 29, 2016