Post Op

Hi all,

Went in for my exploratory ossiculoplasty on 05/12/11, came home with a new stapes. So this is day two post op, not a ton of pain involved. It’s more annoying, like a toothache. There’s some aggravated nerve someplace since my teeth do have a dull ache to them on the operated side. When I speak there is pain in the ear, not earth shattering but it makes me question if my new stapes is sitting where it belongs. The kazoo lives, though Reidan says it’s too soon to panic that my operation is not a success.

I go in Wednesday for my follow up and to have the packing removed. It just feels like something is pressing on a nerve in my ear, again not painful but annoying. When I speak, there is some twinges of pain from inside the ear. If I had to hazard a guess from the membrane the stapes sits on. So I talk softly to keep the vibrations down :o.

So, it’s only day two and I have to give myself some time to heal. On a positive note, I have some feeling returning to the left side of my tongue, that was one angry nerve the other day! Whole left side of my tongue was completely numb but it’s coming back now.

I’m posting away because it makes me feel better!

I was snapping my fingers next to my left ear (operated ear) and can’t hear it at all! Yesterday though my husband had music playing and a song he likes came on the radio so he turned it up. I blocked my right ear and what little I could hear coming in to my left ear seemed normal. After I fell everyone sounded a little like daffy duck after taking a hit of helium. Hearing music yesterday that seemed somewhat normal gives me some hope. Maybe there is some success with my surgery??

The one thing that has bothered me tremendously since I fell has been my “kazoo”. When I speak, my own voice sounded completely like someone playing a kazoo in my left ear. I hated that! When I came out of anesthesia and spoke for the first time, and I heard the kazoo still playing, I just wanted to cry :(. I don’t know if I’ve unconsciously altered how I’m speaking to avoid the pain they kazoo was giving me yesterday, but today the kazoo doesn’t seem as bad. Baby steps, I can’t expect to wake up and have it “all better”. I’m not a patient woman ;).

Today I’ve only taken tylenol and the pain is close to zero. So there must be some healing happening in there :). I am going to attempt to shower and wash my hair! This washing the lower body only stuff kinda sucks. I’m supposed to slather Vaseline over the cotton in my ear to make a watertight seal. That’s all fine and dandy, but how do you get rid of the Vaseline?

I am going back to work today, not sure how long I’ll last.

I am not sure what is causing the kazoo effect when I speak in my left ear, but now it hurts sometimes when I’m talking. Going to have to ask what that is all about.

I keep trying to hear out of the operated ear, and what little I do hear does seem to be some what normal so I am hopeful!

I’m still reading each post and still wishing the best for you. Your body needs time to heal, and with luck, things will continue to improve. The pain when talking may be because the major nerve, the trigeminal, that takes in sensations for your ear also taken in sensations for your jaw and of course that moves when you talk. Your trigeminal nerve is likely irritated by the surgery.

Thanks Hamjor!

I’m just impatient.When I speak it hurts where ever that damned kazoo lives. :wink:

I am feeling pretty good today. I’m at work and I’ve been here all day. Good signs, good signs, I’m just looking for good signs. When I block my right ear (normal hearing) I can hear sounds in the left ear, though faint and muffled they sound normal so I am getting hopeful. That kazoo will hopefully go away once the packing is out and the healing continues.

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the support. No one I’m close to, other than my son, has any hearing issues so I have no one to talk to about this.

Keep us posted Lohearn. Hope things go well for you

Thanks! I’ll keep posting as things progress.

Tomorrow is my 1st follow up post op appointment. I should be getting the packing out of my ear canal! YEAH! My ear canal is getting pretty itchy and I can only think it has to be the packing that annoying it.

So, I’m wondering from anyone else who has had a similar procedure how long before you “heard” again? I will go for my first hearing test mid-June, will be making the appointment tomorrow while I’m there for my follow up.

I have pierced ears,double in each lobe. The day of surgery I took my earrings out before heading in for my procedure. I put them back in the day after (I had cleaned them with alcohol) Sunday night I noticed my earlobe was itchy on the ear that was operated on, didn’t think much of it other than it was annoying. Yesterday the lobe was swollen and had a mild infection, took out the earrings and soaked the earlobe in alcohol and them hydrogen peroxide. It’s better today and the earrings are back in. I’m wondering if it had anything to do with the vaseline I used to seal my ear before I took a shower Sunday?

I am exhausted today, not staying a full day at work today. I think I overdid it yesterday and didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Hi everyone,

Day 6 post op and my return visit to Mass Eye and Ear. The packing is gone!!! YIPPEE! The hearing is not perfect by any stretch, but it’s working.

Since the fall everyone sounded like Donald duck on a hit of helium in that ear. Now, everything is muffled, a bit quiet, but “normal”, no more Donald duck and his hit of helium! :smiley:

Still not supposed to get the ear wet for another two weeks, so will still have to plug it up to shower. Then I can let water in but not directly in in, like don’t turn that ear toward the showers but what trickles in is ok.

The ear still feels plugged up and everything is muted. The tinnitus is still there, along with my kazoo when I talk effect. That is diminished a bit, while the kazoo still plays when I talk it isn’t as loud. My next visit in on June 20th, when I’ll get a hearing test along with a follow up visit. Wonder how good the hearing will be then.

So while not perfect it’s a vast improvement over what I had since the fall. I will never be able to hear like I did before my fall, I can only hope to get close to it. :o

Day 7. Itchy today, my ear is so extremely itchy!! I think it’s normal for me though, I always get itchy when things heal on me. My ear still feels full, the volume is low and muffled, and what sounds come in are normal but kind of flat. I forgot to ask so many questions when I was there yesterday. I have got to remember to bring my questions with me when I go to the doctor!

When can I blow my nose again? When can I eat crunchy foods again? Do I still have any stitches I need to be aware of? When can I use a cotton swab near the ear canal? Is there anything I can use for the next two weeks to keep the ear canal dry besides the cotton ball and vaseline? When can I use my electric toothbrush again?

Guess I’ll have to call to get my questions answered. :rolleyes:


First, I’m sorry to hear about your accident. It’s good to hear you are healing and things seem to be getting better for you. You definately should bring a list of questions next time you go to see your doctor. As for now if you are having problems hearing on the phone you could ask a friend or family member to call and ask the questions.

Best wishes.

Thanks! I can’t beleive I forgot my list of questions! I’ll have to call them :o.

I was driving from job 2 to job 1 today on the interstate. (I’m a bookkeeper for two different companies). All of a sudden I felt a little pop from my operated ear and then heard the music I was listening to in that ear, fairly clearly! It was so exciting, and now sadly its gone again. Since then the hearing has actually been worse! Oh well, time will heal me up and these hearing ups and downs will level out. :wink:

I still get tired very easily, I feel kinda like a whimp. :o

Day 8, and she keeps rambling on and on and on and and on…;).

Morning of day 8. Still have that plugged feeling in the ear, I have had no loud pops or crackling noises at all. Still have to keep the ear canal dry until June 1st! I’m sick of Vaseline in my hair :mad: after I shower. A friend gave me some wax ear plugs that she used for her daughter when she had an infection in her ear, hope they work! Going to try them out shortly.

I feel, well, good. I get tired fairly easily still, but other than that I feel pretty good. Some small twinges of pain from the ear from time to time remind me that I’m still healing and that my surgery wasn’t all that long ago. I still hear my heartbeat in that ear, still have the tinnitus (which due to the nerve loss may be a permanent fixture in my life) and my ear canal continues to be itchy off and on. I stuck my finger in my ear this morning when I first woke up. My ear was itchy and as soon as I felt the stitches I woke up fully and pulled my finger out quickly! :eek:

At day 8 I can honestly say that my hearing now is an improvement over my pre-surgery hearing. I wish it was a little louder and I wish the kazoo effect when I talk was gone but the hearing is definitely better than it was.

My son was with me grocery shopping yesterday afternoon. My bad ear is my left ear, his bad ear is his left ear (he has otosclerosis in the left ear). Since my fall if he’s shopping with me I’ve made him walk on my right side so I could hear him, after years of him walking on my left side so he could hear me. Yesterday he was able to walk on my left side again and I could hear most of what he would say. I could hear the cashier at the checkout counter. Things are still muffled but I can hear people if they’re not too far away in the operated ear. The further the distance, the less likely I am to hear someone. At times I would need to ask my son to repeat himself if he was a little further away from me, but it was definitely a better shopping experience than I’ve had since January.

I’m feeling frustrated and a bit down. My operated ear feels like it is full, completely totally full. Like someone hooked up a hose and filled it with water, been this way yesterday and today. I can still hear some things through it, and it is better than before the operation, but the full feeling is just disconcerting.

Wonder if the fluid from the surgery isn’t draining away like it’s supposed to? Anyone know if this is fairly normal? I need encouragement. :o

Been away from the site for a few days. Too busy at work and crash when I get home.

Glad to hear that things are progressing. Maybe not as fast as you would like, but I see positive signs.

I too had the pop open and plug back up sensations after my surgery. I could force it to happen by working my jaw to open the eustacian tube and let a little pressure relief in the ear. But be careful not to blow while doing this as you could put blow air (and germs) into the inner ear. Chewing gum should give a similar pressure relief.

Could also ask the doc to phone you in a prescription for anti-inflammatory steroids. I had to do this a couple of times. Helps with inflamation of the ear tissues and helps internal drainage. Might even need a decongestant.

You have only seen the doc once. On my first visit my doc removed the outer cotton packing, but left some inner packing in my ear. Second visit removed the remainder of the cotton packing. But told me there was a surgical gel still in the ear and that it would dissolve over time. From what I have read, some docs do not use the surgical gels. Did your doc mention any of that to you?

To relieve itching and reduce scarring I kept a cotton ball of Neosporin in my ear for about 2 weeks. Did not shove it down into the canal, but far enough in that it coated the incision. Without it the skin got dry and the itch started.

Gonna change your screen name to Bionic Woman now? :wink:

Hey Reidan!

Nice to hear from you. I’ve been taking a decongestant and that seems to do the trick as far as that fluid in the ear feeling. I have no packing remaining as far as I know, my ear was “rinsed” while I was there after the packing was removed and that was LOUD!

I have had no pops or clearing of my hearing in several days now. Makes me kind of sad :(. I feel like my outer ear is pretty much healed, and my ear canal stitches are melting away (I can still feel them a little, lumps under the skin). Inside though, where the kazoo lives, there is still some pain from time to time. When I hiccup there is definitely some pain in the kazoo.

I have been trying to figure out what exactly causes my kazoo hearing when I speak, because that’s where the remaining pain is and continued healing will happen (I hope). When I speak loudly it can hurt the kazoo. I am unsure of what causes the kazoo effect when I speak, but I have got to find out. The only thing I have ever found where “kazoo like” is listed is superior canal dehiscence. The only symptom that sounds like me is the kazoo when speaking, but it’s the only thing so far that describes my own voice when I speak accurately. Although when my neck cracks it sounds like a shotgun in my bad ear!

I really feel like the surgery corrected the Donald Duck on a hit of helium for incoming voices, but I’m beginning to wonder if that’s just half of my hearing issue. The kazoo is still pretty loud, it was softer right after the operation but as I heal it’s coming back to full strength LOUD. The louder I talk, the louder the kazoo is, and the more pain I experience. Stapes footplate against the oval window? I don’t know, must figure it out though.

Hi lohearn, did you have a stapedotomy/stapedectomy? (Trying to guess from what it says in your signature, as “exploratory ossiculoplatry” from your first post flew straight past me :o ). Anyway, I hope you continue to keep updating us of your recovery. I am contemplating ear surgery (stapedotomy) and find it very useful to hear about other people and their experiences.

Hope you continue to heal well, and get rid of your kazoo hearing problem, seems like that would be super annoying.


I’m pulling for ya’, lohearn! It must have been very difficult to go from normal hearing to this. At least with most SNHL it’s gradual…

Anyway, keep us posted. I wish you the very best.

Hi Nine,

I had a stapedectomy, once they got in there it was discovered the stapes had sustained some damage in my fall so out it came. In my case. it so far has not fixed all my issues but if you have otosclerosis you will probably benefit greatly.

As for the healing from this surgery, it’s been fairly easy. Pain was minimal, took the pain medication for the first two days and switched to regular tylenol after that. I work a desk job and was back at work 4 days post op. I experienced no nausea or vertigo at all. A little dizzy and unsteady on my feet at times, but it went away as quickly as it came on.

As for me and my kazoo, I think I have a separate issue with that. Not sure what exactly it is yet but I’m working on it. And I keep leaning toward that superior canal dehiscence. In a quiet room I can hear my neck when I turn my head. I can hear my left eye move, but only when it’s very quiet. So who knows, maybe some not so visible damage from my fall affected the temporal bone? I just want it all better ;).