Information on Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeries Mastoid Surgery - Mastoidectomy - Mastoid Care
Mastoid Care

A mastoidectomy for a cholesteatoma - Care After Surgery

Most patients will leave the hospital on the same day or the day after surgery.  If a canal-wall-down operation was performed, packing is left in the cavity for 5 days and removed in the office.  Antibiotic ointment should be placed three times a day on the incision behind the ear for 7 to 10 days.  Stitches are removed in 7 to 10 days.  Afterwards the ear cavity may be irrigated with a solution of vinegar and water (1 to 5 dilution) four times a day for a month and once to twice a day after this.  The solution should be warmed to body temperature or dizziness will result when the ear is irrigated.  I usually suggest wearing a head band to hold the external ear by the head, helping it to heal in the proper position.  Make sure the head band is not too tight.  The purpose of the band is for comfort, to hold the tissues in place and to catch drainage.  A hearing test is usually obtained 3 to 6 weeks after the surgery.    A canal-wall-down operation heals very slowly and may take months for the mastoid cavity to line with skin. 

As with most surgeries, no heavy activity is allowed for at least 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. 

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