Endolymphatic sac decompression is a surgery used to treat Meniere’s disease or fluid buildup in the inner ear. The surgery will decrease pressure on the endolymphatic sac in the inner ear by taking out the mastoid bone around it. You may have a small stent put into the endolymphatic sac to allow excess fluid to drain out.

What to Expect

You will have an incision behind your ear. You may have a cup like dressing in place held in place with a Velcro headband.

You may have some pain, ear pressure or headache.

You may have a small amount of blood-stained drainage from your ear for a few days or up to 2 weeks.

Care After Surgery

You will have a prescription for opioid pain medicine to use as needed. You can also use Tylenol (acetaminophen). Do not use a NSAID such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve or naproxen unless your doctor approves. Use a stool softener if you take an opioid pain medicine. Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking opioids.

If you have the Velcro type headband holding your dressing in place, it should be left in place the first night after surgery. You can loosen the band and reattach it if it feels too tight.

The incision behind your ear can get wet after 2 days.


  • For the next 48 hours, raise your head at least 30° when you lie down. Use at least 2 pillows. Do not lie on the surgery side.

  • Avoid quick head movements.

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks, or for as long as advised by your doctor. No jogging, yoga, sports, swimming or lifting more than 10 pounds.

  • Check with your doctor before air travel. You should not travel by air for 4 weeks to avoid pressure changes in your ear.

When to Call

  • Any sign of infection.

    • Redness

    • Swelling

    • Tenderness

    • Warmth at the site

    • Pus-like drainage

  • Excess bleeding (bleeding that soaks a gauze dressing in 10 minutes or less and lasts for one hour).

  • Fever over 100.4º F for two readings taken 4 hours apart.

  • Pain that is not relieved by prescription pain medicine.

  • Clear fluid leaking from nose or ear.

Who to Call

ENT Clinic

Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm

(608) 263-6190 or 1-800-323-8942

After 5:00 pm or weekends, and holidays, your call will be sent to the paging operator. Ask for the ENT doctor on-call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back shortly.