After surgery

Youwill oftenneed to stay in hospitalat least overnight after the operation, and you should plan to take a week or two off work. Your surgeon can adviseyou aboutthis.

Self care advice

When you get home, take care to keepthe operated ear dry. You should be able to wash your hair after a week, provided you do not get water insidethe ear. This can be avoided by plugging the ear with cotton wool coated with Vaseline.

Swimming,strenuous activities and sportsmay need tobe avoided for a few weeks. Check with your surgeon at your follow-up appointment when it is safe to resume these.

Your surgeon may also recommend avoiding flying for several weeks after surgery. Again, you can ask them about this at your follow-up appointment.

Follow-up appointments

If your stitches are not dissolvable, they may need to be removed by your practice nurse after a week or two.

Most people have a follow-up appointment in a clinic within a few weeks of the operation, when any dressings in your ear will be removed.

A cholesteatomacancome back,and onemay develop in your other ear, so you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor this.

Somepeople need a second operation after abouta year to check there are no skin cells left behind.

When to seek medical advice

You should contact your GP or the ENT department of the hospital if you experience:

  • discharge or significant bleeding from your ear or wound
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • severe or increasing pain

These problems could be a sign of a complication, such as an infection.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018