Monday, April 14, 2008

Tympanoplasty: Week After

About five days after the Tympanoplasty operation, I stopped taking the vicodin regularly. I had very little pain. On the 6th day, I went to a required post-operation appointment. The doctor suctioned out a little of the 'packing' (some kind of foam that they put in your ear to keep the skin graft and eardrum pressed together so they attach to each other). He also gave me some ear drops to use twice a day.

On the days that followed (6-8 days after), I start noticing how I actually hear less out of the ear than I heard before the operation. I started to notice that when I covered my good ear, I could detect some sounds with my recently-operated ear, but not all. I could hear distinct voices on the television, but they sounded really low. I'd say that one week after the operation my hearing on the operated ear was at about 25% (when compared to my non-operated on side). It also worried me that certain sounds, like the wiggling sound of our ceiling fan, I could not hear at all. I noticed that my ear detected low pitches better than high.

I also had sounds in my ear that were quite bothersome and scary. The sounds I heard in my ear the week after the Tympanoplasty can be described as:

Slight ringing sounds
Sounds that seem similar to a heart beat
Feeling/sound of blood pumping
Popping sounds
Sounds of liquid, and the sensation of having liquid stuck in my ear.

I searched the internet and read all I could about Tympanoplasty issues and learned that these sounds are referred to as Tinnitus. Many internet sites mention that Tympanoplasty patients often experience Tinnitus, which can be present for some time (no certain estimate on how long), but are rarely permanent. I didn't find any personal accounts on-line of these sounds, or how they turned out, so that was why I decided to write this blog. Not knowing if what you are hearing is 'normal' can be scary.

Today, it has been 10 days since I had the Tympanoplasty surgery. The ringing sounds have diminished, but they are not completely gone. I also noticed that when there are a lot of different sounds, such as cars and everyday street sounds, my ear hears a wall of noise and I can't pick up what my husband is saying (when he's standing right next to me and we are walking). I ask him to walk on the side of my good ear, as it's much easier to hear him that way.

I have been putting the drops the doctor prescribed for a few days now. It's kind of itchy inside my ear canal on and off, but the doctor says it's just part of the healing process. Maybe all of these funky sounds and not being able to hear well are normal, but I don't know and won't know until three weeks from now. In a few days, I have my second post-operation appointment, so I will find out of the skin graft is doing OK.

If you had a Tympanoplasty and experienced these 'weird sounds', please comment with a description of the sound, and most importantly, with the duration and outcome of them. Thanks!


somesh kumar said...

i have had a similar surgery and cant hear much from the operated ear. Is this normal? i hope so and it will recover in a few days. Dont worry, even i get these weird noises.On top of that unknowingly i removed the packing myself after 2 days from the operation.

Asma said...

i had tympanoplastly 5 days ago...i also hear sum weird heart beat...sounds like pulse rate...on the first day i felt as if sumthing is bubbling inside my ear...i told my dr..he said its normal...these sounds r becoz of the packing inside the ear..ear dressing will be removed after 5 days frm now...i m worried..i wish everything would go perfect...actually yesterday i sneezed with half mouth closed...i m praying for the good...n i usually it fine...or wat..plz do tell dr just said dnt blow ur everything is fine.

Newby Teachers said...

I had a tympanoplasty done yesterday. The procedure took 1.5hrs and I was in the hopsital from 630am-2pm. The nurses were not very helpful at all. I have the feeling of alot of fluid in my ear but I have not yet taken off the first layer of gauze but there is dried blood that has seeped out of the bottom. My instruction sheet says to call the surgeon if there is discharge or blood from the ear but everything online says it is normal for the first few days for there to be some. What did your ear feel like exactly, the day after surgery? I am not in pain yet today but there feels like alot of fluid in my ear that i feel move when I bend my head.

Hauser said...

i had a tympanoplasty 5 days ago and i get the loudest heartbeat pulses in my ear and every 10 or so beats will be a bit painful. im not on much medication though because the stuff they prescribed makes me constipated, and thats no fun.

in 2 days i have my first post-op appointments but i have no idea if he is going to remove the packing yet. for sounds if its one or two people talking to me im fine to hear but any extra ambient noise and everything sounds quite muddy and it gets really hard to hear anything proper. quite frustrating actually.

the hardest part for me is the night before my surgery i started getting a cold and throughout this week ive been trying to recover with a nasty cold without blowing my nose or coughing too much. im pretty much a mess haha.

Pankaj Gaonkar said...

I had my 2nd surgery as the earlier one failed , its almost a week now and i still have ringing in my ears.
Iam bit tensed because of ringing in the ears as its so loud that even if the fluid in my ear goes away i think i wont be able to hear properly.
will this go away , please share your experiences

Becky said...

My tympanoplastly (Type 1 i think) was 5 days ago. Since yesterday evening I have a constant heart beat sound in my ear, BUT it sounds like a womb heartbeat, like on one of those noise makes to help babies sleep. But with a bit of a "woosh" sound to it. Hard to describe.

i also of course have ringing since the surgery but ive always had that when i have an earplug in.

other than that i still have light pain around the cut wound (behind mz ear), in a random spots on my head on that side, a faint black eye and occasionally a brief sharp pain on the eardrum.

this is my 2nd surgery as the 1st one last year did not work. Last time i got an infection after the surgery and since the doctor didnt remove the packing for 3 weeks he didnt know. And i didnt know that it shouldnt hurt for 3 weeks. :( Just a tip to everyone! You shouldnt feel sharp pains in your ear for more than a week and a few days. This time i took a light antibiotic after the surgery for 5 days to be sure. I am also with a different doctor and hospital. The other was terrible!

My doctor will remove the final packing (he said) on monday. :) He seems confident. I will come back and update on how it went!

CFH_x said...

I had my surgery done two weeks ago and today the packaging got removed. it's the first day and I still can't hear much out of the operated ear, I wear a hearing aid in my right ear to help me hear better. when the packaging was in my ear, I heard some noises in my ear that woldent go away and got really annoying, that lasted about 4 days, I guessed it was normal because of the healing/packaging. I found it very hard to sleep at night as I had to sleep on my right ear. I have to go back to the hospital to get the sponges in my ear near the graft to be removed in a month. I'm really hoping this works for my ear, as I've had a lot of ear infections and time off school and really knocked my confidence. doctor says if it works for me, then he suggests I have the same operation on the right ear.

Jennifer Scott said...

I know this surgery was several years ago for you...but you never posted after 12 days...did the noises go away?

Steve said...

Hey all. I had a tympanoplasty 2 days ago. All of the sounds described here are exactly what I'm experiencing as well, so that is comforting.

What I'm worried about is the way it feels! I had a ~95% perforation and would regularly experience a feeling like air was getting sucked through my ear, especially breathing through my nose. Two days after the surgery I'm still getting this sensation, so I'm worried it didn't work at all!

Anyone else go through this?

Kris Tamoni said...

Hi! So what are your activities post op? All i do is sleep...i feel so helpless, i feel dizzy and weak, and also i throw up every time i try to stand straight. Is there anybody else out here experiencing these symptoms as well?

Samba said...

I had undergone Tympanoplasty Type-1 surgery exactly a week ago. Thank you for this blog, it is very helpful to know symptoms that are exactly being experienced by me, were experienceed and these are known symptoms and facts.

• Since two days, I am having pain on the skull, exactly half inch above the left ear. This is especially realised when I wide open my mouth to eat something.
• Feels like lot of fluid in the ear got stuck in the ear canal. while eating, if I am move my jaws, I hear something bubbling because of the liquid moving in the ear.

other symptoms like hear-beat sound. The gauze cloth with full of antibiotics are still inside my ear and I am just worried if my ear is getting infected ? Is there a chance of infection with the above symptoms ? Doctor said he would like to remove them after two weeks. Tomorrow I have an appointment with Doctor and would like to put across all my observations to him.

Ramesh Bajracharya said...

Last week Tympanoplasty done on my ear,but like others there's no any tinnitus sound in my ear. Don't know its healing properly or not. Don't even know its a good sign or bad sign that i can't hear anything from that ear yet.

Diane said...

Had tympanoplasty last week. I am having tinnitus something awful right now. I had it before surgery and surgeon said it will not go away however doc that discovered I needed it did. How did you do with hearing and tinnitus?

Ashley Stanton said...

i had two surgeries a year apart, tympano and mastectomy, after the 2nd op it took about a year for the noises like tinnitus, heart beat, white noise, and im at about 16mths now and my hearing hasnt improved, i still have very mild pain most of the time, sometimes fairly bad pain, the noises arent always gone, at times the noises were that bad i wanted to rip my ear out

Diane said...

For Ashley - Why did you have the tympanoplasty? I am only one month since mine and I am ready to pull my hair out also. I have suffered for more than three years before they would even agree that I needed tympanoplasty. Instead did some other things that made it worse, then told me you will get used to it! Please give me some hope!

Ashley Stanton said...

hey diane,
i had the operation done due to skin cyst on ear drum, perferated ear drum, infected earing bones and crushed eustation tube from being 2mths prem, i had been dealing with chronic infections and pain uptill i was 21 before i had my first operation 2013 then 2nd 2014, just 22.
the specialist says it is perfectly healed and there is no signs of damage and audiology says my hearing has improved, but i still get discomfort, noise and i actually have no outter ear hearing improvment, even though hearing tests show mass improvment,
the pain from the operation isnt the best, you end up learbning to deal and live with it, it starts to dull down after a couple months, just try not to sit in complete silence, the wooshing noises and white noise is enough to drive you crazy, look after it dont get it wet, dirty etc, follow dr's orders and it will come good, after 3 years all up i RARELY need pain medication