Before Middle Ear Surgery

You are having surgery on your middle ear. This sheet can help you get ready. If you have any questions, be sure to get answers before your procedure.

Preparing for surgery

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

  • Schedule a presurgery checkup if one is needed.

  • Take antibiotics or other medicines if they are prescribed.

  • Tell your healthcare provider what medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements. Ask if you should stop taking certain medicines before surgery, particularly any that may cause increased bleeding.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a pacemaker.

  • Alert your healthcare provider if you have any allergies. This includes medicine, latex, and anesthesia.

  • Arrange 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 the following:

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

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

Risks and possible complications of middle ear surgery

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

  • Infection

  • Failure of a graft (patch, often made of tissue), resulting in a hole in the eardrum

  • Failure of a prosthesis (manmade replacement part)

  • Further hearing loss (including total hearing loss), ringing in the ears, or dizziness (total hearing loss is rare) 

  • Facial droop

  • Numbness of the outer ear

  • A change in your sense of taste

  • Dry mouth