Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Middletown

Ear surgery

Ear Surgery

After ear surgery, there are several important steps for the care of the ear.  If you have an external dressing, you will be seen the next day in the office for removal of the head dressing.  Stitches will be removed in about a week after surgery. Follow up will take place every two to three weeks for about six visits.


Bleeding is uncommon. However, you will have some blood tinged drainage from the ear canal. Often there is a cotton ball dressing in the ear that will need to be changed at regular intervals. Occasionally this will need to be changed every hour or two for the first two days or so.  The cotton ball will be readily visible.  Two Band-Aids™ used over the ear will help to hold the cotton ball if it falls out. Do not pick at the dressing in the ear canal or stick any objects into the ear canal. Be sure to wash your hands before and after each dressing change. 


Please do not scratch the incision areas around the ear.  The incision will itch, indicting the area is healing. If you have exposed stitches, please apply antibiotic ointment at least twice-a-day.  The goal is to keep the suture moist with the ointment, so it can heal properly.

To best apply the ointment, use a Q-tip™ to remove previously applied ointment and reapply a fresh layer with a new Q-tip™.


If the surgeon prescribes you any antibiotics, follow the directions on the prescription.


Do not let any water into the ear. This includes water from the bath, shower or swimming pool.

For showers, avoid water directly into the ear. A bath would be preferable and if possible, get someone to help you wash your hair in the sink.  If you must have a shower, replace the cotton ball with a fresh one, apply ointment over the surface of the cotton ball.

Contact our office or go to the Emergency Room if any of the following signs or symptoms occur: 

  • Increase in pain, tenderness, redness or swelling
  • Fever greater than 101.5 F
  • Any suspicious drainage or discharge from the ear
  • You are unable to keep foods or fluids down because of the nausea and vomiting