Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure that repairs a hole in the eardrum. If you’ve undergone this procedure, here’s a list of what you need to do (and not to do) when you’re at home during your recovery period:
- For the next 2 to 4 weeks, you’re not supposed to do anything strenuous. These activities include aerobic or weightlifting workouts, riding a bike, or even jogging. Wait until your ENT doctor gives you the go signal to resume these activities.
- You shouldn’t even lift anything that can strain you during this time. That means you can’t carry heavy bags or a child.
- Avoid activities such as swimming, scuba diving, or flying in an airplane. Don’t play contact sports as well. All these activities can keep your eardrum from healing properly. Your doctor can tell you when you can start doing these things.
- Don’t drive either until your doctor says you can.
- If you feel tired, just rest. Don’t overexert yourself.
- Get enough sleep as well, as this can help you recover. During the first week after the procedure, use 2 or 3 pillows to prop your head up when you sleep. You can also try sleeping in a reclining chair as well (especially for naps).
- You should try to walk every day. At first, you can walk a little distance. Then each day you can walk just a little bit farther. The walking you do can boost your blood flow and it can also help prevent constipation and pneumonia.
- Don’t do any sudden head movements for the first 2 or 3 days after the tympanoplasty. Don’t bend over during this time either. You’ll feel dizzy if you do.
- Don’t blow your nose until your doctor says it’s alright to do so.
- For the next 3 months, don’t get water into your ear. Taking a bath is alright, but not taking a shower unless you can wear a cap that fully covers your ears. When you do take a bath, use a cotton ball lightly coated with petroleum jelly to plug your ears so the water can’t get in.
- If you have to wear earplugs, use only what your ENT doctor recommends.
- You can get back to work after a week or two, after your ENT doctor says it’s okay. However, if your job requires heavy lifting or some sort of strenuous activity, you may need to take 2 to 4 weeks off.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Take some fiber supplements. These can help with the irregular movements that are common after undergoing surgery.
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