Postoperative Course

After the completion of stapedectomy, no matter what technique is used, the patient lies in bed with the operated ear up toward the ceiling for 2 hours. This permits the ear to settle into its former position. Better, it allows dizzy patients to recuperate, and allows the blood in the middle ear to coagulate, holding the prosthesis and the drum in position.

After the stay in the surgery center, patients are slowly ambulated, and when stable, are discharged. Instructions during the home interval include no heavy lifting ( >20 lb), no blowing of the nose, and no vigorous activities for 3 weeks. Patients are permitted to fly after 1 week. They return to the office for removal of the ointment in 4 to 6 weeks.

When patients come from a distance, a routine for follow-up makes it much easier to manage them. The staff knows exactly what to tell the patients, and the patients know what to expect. Thus, education is enhanced, and quality and consistent results are assured. Further, when all the staff members involved in the care of the patient know just what to expect, the patient achieves a much more relaxed and comfortable state of mind. Thus, practice guidelines and care plans can significantly improve the entire course of care.

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