Endoscopic Ear Surgery

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1 Endoscopic Ear Surgery UHN Information for patients and families Read this booklet to learn: how to prepare for endoscopic ear surgery what you can expect how to care for yourself when you get home when to arrange your follow-up visits who to contact if you have any questions Please visit the UHN Patient Education website for more health information: University Health Network. All rights reserved. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for non-commercial personal use only. Authors: Romeo Cruz,RN, BScN, MN, Gina Bryden, RN, BA, MAEd, Natalia Evitch, RN, BScN, MSC Created: 10/2016 Form: D-5209 C034-D

2 What is endoscopic ear surgery? During endoscopic ear surgery a surgeon uses a camera to make it easier to see your middle and inner ear. This is called an endoscope. There are different reasons for having endoscopic ear surgery. Your doctor will talk to you about what kind you have. What will happen before my surgery? You may have an appointment in the Pre-admission Clinic. At this appointment: You may have some tests to prepare you for surgery. These may include: blood tests an ECG (electrocardiogram) a chest x-ray You will meet with the pre-admission nurse or the nurse may call you. Your nurse will review your health history. If needed, you may also see other health professionals like: an anesthetist (doctor who will give you medicine so you will sleep and stay comfortable during surgery) a pharmacist How do I prepare for the surgery? Don t eat or drink anything (including chewing gum or candies) after midnight (12:00 am) the night before your surgery. Your stomach must be empty when you go for your surgery. You can drink clear fluids (such as apple juice or water) up to 5 hours before the surgery. Come to the hospital 2 hours before your surgery time. Check in at the Surgical Admission Unit (SAU) 2nd floor, Munk Building at Toronto General Hospital. 1

3 After you check in, we give you an intravenous (IV) line. This is a small needle that we put in a vein in your arm. We use it if you need: fluids antibiotics (infection-fighting medicine) pain medicine What can I expect after the surgery? 1. We take you to the Patient Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) or recovery room. 2. When you are awake enough, and it is safe, we transfer you from the PACU to 6A Munk, Surgical Short Stay Unit. How will I feel after the surgery? It s normal to feel some pain after surgery. To help control your pain, we will give you pain medicine. While you are taking pain medicine, you may feel sleepy or nauseous (feeling like you need to throw up). We will give you medicine to control this side effect of the pain medicine. When can I move around? We ask you to do some exercises when you wake up from surgery. These simple exercises will help you to recover. Deep breathing and coughing Take deep breaths, and try to cough out. Your nurse will help you do this. Foot exercises Wiggle your toes and move your feet back and forth. This helps the blood in your legs circulate (move around). Walking Your nurse will help you the first time you try to get out of bed. 2

4 Pain control and new medicines We give you medicine to control your pain while you are in the hospital. By the time you leave, you should have very little pain. Before you leave, we give you a prescription for pain medicine. If you have problems with your pain after you leave the hospital, call your family doctor or your surgeon. You can restart the medicines you were taking before your surgery unless your doctor changed them. Bowel routine Your pain medicines can cause you to become constipated (unable to have a bowel movement). Drinking lots of fluids and eating foods that are high in fibre, such as fruits and vegetables, can help. If you need to, you can take stool softeners. Eating and nutrition You may go back to your regular diet. How long will I stay in the hospital? You may be able to go home the same day of your surgery. Your doctor may keep you in the hospital overnight, if needed. 3

5 How should I care for myself when I get home? Caring for your ear after surgery You will not have a head bandage, staples or sutures after your surgery. Your doctor will place packing inside of your ear after your surgery. There are 2 kinds of packing inside your ear: ear canal packing and outer dressing. 1. The ear canal packing will stay inside your ear until your doctor removes it when you come back for your follow-up appointment. A small amount of bleeding from the ear is normal. 2. The outer dressing (the large cotton ball) can be changed when bathing. Try to leave the small cotton ball in place. Use cotton balls coated with Vaseline (see below for details) when bathing. Protecting your ears from water Keeping water out of the ear canal is very important to allow your ear to heal and to keep it from becoming infected. There are lots of ways to do this, but following the steps below will be the most helpful. 1. Use a piece of cotton wool about the size of a large grape. 2. Take the cotton ball and mix it with Vaseline (petroleum jelly). 3. Keep mixing the ball in the Vaseline until it is completely covered in Vaseline. 4. Take the ball out of the Vaseline and put it into the bowl of your ear. You do not have to push the ball into your ear canal. The dotted line in the drawing shows the bowl of the ear. 5. Remove the ball as soon as you have finished showering or bathing. 4

6 It is very important to keep water out of your ear Earplugs do not work as well as the Vaseline-covered cotton ball, but can be used if needed. It is important to wash the plugs thoroughly before and after each use. Even a small amount of water entering the ear canal at the wrong time can cause problems so please be very careful when having a bath or shower. You can use ear drops. If your doctor prescribed ear drops for you please use them by following the instructions on the package. Activities You may go back to your usual physical activities when you go home. For the first 2 weeks after you leave the hospital: Don t strain yourself by doing activities such as lifting. Don t lift more than 10 pounds (about 5 kilograms). Don t blow your nose. Don t bend down for too long at one time. Don t swim until you see your surgeon for your first clinic appointment after your surgery. If you plan to swim ask your surgeon first. You may drive when you stop taking your narcotic pain medicine and when you are able to comfortably move your neck to look at your side mirrors. When do I have my follow-up appointment? You will need to call your surgeon s office to schedule your follow-up appointment. You will see your surgeon 2 weeks after you leave the hospital. At this appointment your doctor will remove the packing from your ear canal and you will be started on ear drop medicine for 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will see you again 6 weeks after this for your next follow-up appointment. You will need to have an audiogram (hearing test) before this appointment. Your surgeon s office will arrange the audiogram. 5

7 When can I go back to work? When you can go back to work depends on your recovery and what kind of work you do. Your surgeon will let you know when it is safe for you to return to work. Travelling Please talk to your doctor if you are planning to travel by air. What problems should I look out for? Go to the nearest emergency department if you have: Chills or a fever (temperature higher than 38 C or 100 ºF) Redness or more pain than usual inside your ear A lot of bleeding from your ear canal Pain, redness or swelling in your calf or your leg Trouble breathing Any sharp pains in your chest or back 6

8 Who can I call if I have any questions? Your clinical nurse coordinator will answer any questions or concerns you have during the first 2 weeks you are home. Clinical Nurse Coordinator You can also call your doctor s office if you have any questions or concerns during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am 4:00 pm). Dr. D. Pothier s secretary

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