Starting out with Alison:
Hi I am Alison, from Cheshire England. had my surgery on 26th November, a tympanoplasty with new ear bones and also closing up of the mastoid cavity left by a previuos op 17 years ago. was extremely apprehensive beforehand, but surgery went well and I came home same evening. Sneezed that night and panicked as ear bled all night, went back to see my lovely surgeon following day and he checked it, all seems OK. Things healing nicely now it seems, but my hearing is odd – I can hear things at high pitch in my ear, which I couldn’t before, but they are on a slight time delay, almost like an echo. Does this settle down when packing dissolves etc? Back to hospital on 18th for another check up, still off work and will probably stay off for 4 weeks to ensure I don’t catch any infection or swine flu from work colleagues! Even if my hearing doesn’t improve, then I will be able to swim etc without fear of ear infection, something I have not been able to do since I was a child. Hope you are all recovering well too. Alison
Hello Alison! It’s been more than a month since your tympanoplasty and related procedures. I regret not being able to get back to you sooner; please accept my apology. Hopefully by now you’ve realized that waiting for the packing to dissolve is actually the entire endgame of this procedure. As time goes by, I believe that many of the odd sensations you’re feeling will go away. The packing does some weird things. I cannot emphasize enough how odd that packing can feel.
Please come back and let us know how you’re doing.
Thanks for the pics of the headgear! I was not expecting that. I go next Friday. It’ll be the 18th. I am hoping I feel better before Christmas!!! How long was it before you could exercise? Thanks
Hopefully you are doing well, too! It was a few months before I could exercise, unfortunately. Well worth the wait.
I had tympanoplasty surgery the exact same way you did 3 weeks ago. My hearing came back within a week but the gelfoam and goop is still in there. Thats what I’m worried about. I had it check today and he still can not see my eardrum. I had zero pain with the entire experience but I’m a little sketchy about him going in and removing it. Is it extremely painful????
Although everyone has a different pain tolerance, I want to assure you that it isn’t extremely painful. Trust your doctor; he or she is a doctor for a reason.
Hey Richard, I’m scheduled to get a tympanoplasty on January 5th and I’ve done a lot of research on it. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for posting all this stuff about your surgery and recovery. It’s been really helpful to me in understanding exactly what it is that I’m getting myself into. I right ear drum was perforated when I was about 14 and I’m 19 now, so it’s been a few years and I’ve had to deal with the ear infections and avoiding getting water in it for all that time. It’s really quite a bother in the shower and prevents me from swimming, which is something I love, as well as the girls in the bikinis (haha ). Anyway, seeing as how you went through all of this already, I was wondering if you could answer one of my major questions with a unique perspective, seeing as to how you had to deal with it (my tympanoplasty will be done by going into the ear from making the incision behind the ear, not through the ear canal, by the way). After your surgery, how did you manage to wash your ear and hair in the shower without getting water/soap/shampoo on or in the wound or your ear?
Daniel, you’re very welcome. It’s been my pleasure to document the experience.
This is an excellent question! Similarly, my tympanoplasty was done with an incision behind the ear, which as you’ve already anticipated, can lead to some interesting complications with bathing.
For several weeks, my bathing experience was very different than what I was used to. For the first week, I didn’t bathe my hair. After that, my mom helped me wash my hair in a sink of our house. I put cotton balls in my ear, laid a sterile pad over that, and finally firmly pressed a cup over that sterile pad. It’s odd to picture, but think of the cotton ball as a last defense, and the sterile pad and the cup as a “sealed” protection layer from water. As I held that contraption together, my mom carefully washed my hair, avoiding the area close to my ear.
It worked pretty well for me. That is, I never got my ear wet. Please come back and let us know how your procedure goes! With a little time you’ll be back on the beach enjoying all there is to see and do.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I appreciate it.