Before Middle Ear Surgery

You are having surgery on your middle ear. This sheet can help you get ready. If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider beforehand.

Preparing for surgery

Follow your healthcare provider's advice. Be sure to:

  • Schedule a pre-surgery checkup if one is needed.

  • Take antibiotics or other medicines as your healthcare provider directs.

  • Tell your healthcare provider what medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. Ask if you should stop taking any of these before surgery.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a pacemaker or other medical device that's implanted.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any allergies, such as to medicine and latex.

  • Review your informed consent papers. Signing an informed consent means your questions about the surgery were answered. It also means you understand its risks and benefits, and you agree to have it done. Get all of your questions answered before you sign.

  • Plan for an adult family member or friend to drive you home after surgery.

  • Follow any directions you are given for not eating or drinking before surgery.

About anesthesia

Anesthesia is a type of medicine. It keeps you from feeling pain during surgery. You will likely have one of these:

  • General anesthesia. This puts you into a state like deep sleep during the surgery.

  • Local anesthesia with sedation. Local anesthesia numbs the place of surgery. Sedation makes you relaxed and sleepy. You will be awake during surgery. Or you may sleep lightly. But you will feel no pain.

Possible risks

All surgeries have risks. For middle ear surgery, these are:

  • Infection

  • Failure of a graft, or patch (often made of tissue). This can cause a hole in the eardrum.

  • Failure of the replacement part (prosthesis)

  • More hearing loss, such as total hearing loss (rare), ringing in the ears, or dizziness 

  • Facial droop

  • Numbness of the outer ear

  • A change in your sense of taste

  • Dry mouth

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