IntroductionWater avoidance in the immediate postoperative period following ear surgery is vital to prevent infection, allow incisions to heal and so lead to an improvement in recovery rates. Advice regarding this is varied from 24 hours‐several weeks depending on the surgical approach and surgeon preference.Advice is usually given to prevent water from entering the ear canal by barrier methods such as cotton wool covered in petroleum jelly, custom ear plugs, putty or bathing caps. Water contact with incisions should be avoided until healed. Cotton wool with petroleum jelly has been demonstrated the easiest to use and insert into the ear canal and is the most effective barrier method it is also better at preventing leaks as compared to customised earplugs. This is especially important if the patient is using surfactant products while showering as the resulting reduction in water tension allows for easier penetration of water into the canal.In surgery which aims to reconstruct an intact tympanic membrane such as myringoplasty, water precaution advice should be continued until complete healing has occurred. In tympanostomy tube insertion, advice regarding water precaution is varied with no single consensus; however, a survey conducted in 2007 reported that 69.1% of otolaryngologist would advise the
Clinical Otolaryngology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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