Postoperative Care

Postoperative care is critical in maintaining a clean, dry ear canal. Annual and sometimes semiannual cleanings are necessary, and the patient must be cooperative. We see the patient the morning after surgery for mastoid dressing removal and inspection of the ear. The next appointment is 1 week later for aspiration of the meatal Ambrus wick and Silastic sheeting. At this point, we want aeration of the canal. Two weeks later, the packing and medial Ambrus wick are removed; and at this time, the ear is generally well healed. We then repack the lateral ear with Cortisporin-soaked Gelfoam and have the patient use Cor-tisporin Otic drops bid for the next 2 months. Dry ear precautions are necessary up to this point. After the ear has healed, it can be treated as a "normal" ear. We even allow patients to swim and get the ear wet; we recommend a couple drops of alcohol in the ear after swimming to dry the canal.

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