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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2001 Mar;110(3):254-6.

Is pressure dressing necessary after ear surgery?

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  • 1First Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Turin, Italy.


Compressive bandages carry intrinsic risks and complications. The purpose of this study was to assess whether compressive head bandages are necessary after ear surgery to prevent complications such as hematoma or wound infection. A prospective, randomized, controlled study was conducted from August 1, 1993, to June 1, 1999. We randomly assigned 420 consecutive middle ear or mastoid operations to either a pressure bandage group or to a no-pressure bandage group. A careful follow-up was planned, and complications were recorded. In the pressure bandage group, 3 patients had bruising over the pinna and 70 patients had minor skin erythema when the dressing was removed. No patient had bruising or erythema in the no-pressure bandage group. No patient had hematoma, wound infection, or any other wound complication in either group. As a result of this study, we have decided to abandon the use of compression bandages after uncomplicated ear surgery.

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