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Ear Surgery: Post Operative Instructions

Patient Information for Pain and Nausea Management After Ear Surgery

Pain after ear surgery is variable. Medications for all situations are available from the ward staff on request. Most patients require oral painkillers only, although some do need parenteral (i.e. injected) drugs. After procedures performed under local anaesthesia, e.g. many stapedectomy and ossicular chain reconstruction operations, there may be some discomfort after the operation, when the local anaesthetic has worn off. After very major skull-base surgery, pain may require injected drugs throughout the first postoperative night.

While in hospital, if pain is a problem, the ward staff will have the means to cope with it.

Pain in the jaw-joint on the operated side is common especially after mastoid surgery and a soft diet may be necessary for several days.

Nausea, vomiting and dizziness can occur after ear and skull-base surgery. While in hospital, these symptoms will be managed with medications prescribed by your anaesthetist. It is unusual for treatment to be required after discharge from hospital.

After Discharge

Discharge from hospital usually takes place on the morning after surgery. The following medications with instructions are provided. Hospital stay after tumour surgery is longer.

  1. Panadeine forte OR Digesic OR Paracetamol tablets. Take 2 tablets every 4 hours if needed, to a MAXIMUM OF 8 TABLETS DAILY.
  2. Celebrex 100mg tablets. Take 1 tablet twice a day with food until pain is manageable with Paracetamol. The stronger Panadeine Forte or Digesic is not needed. Stop Celebrex if heartburn or abdominal discomfort occurs.
  3. Tramal 50mg capsules. These may be prescribed after acoustic neuroma or skull-base tumour surgery if pain is more severe. Take 1- 2 capsules, every 4 hours to a maximum of 8 per day.
  4. Coloxyl tablets. Panadeine Forte tends to cause constipation; this medication will help prevent this