Surgeons choice of an ear pack is dictated by availability, previous training and personal preference. There has been no recent prospective study evaluating the use of different types of ear packs. This randomized prospective study compares the use of BIPP impregnated ribbon gauze (Aurum), Pope wicks (Xomed-Teace), silastic sheeting (Dow Corning) and tri-adcortyl ointment (Squibb) as an ear dressing following ‘clear’ middle ear procedures via a permeatal approach. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference in post-operative pain and discomfort experienced, neither was there any significant difference regarding the otolaryngologist's assessment of the degree of canal granulation, stenosis or discharge with the above named packs. This study concludes that non-traditional dressings such as tri-adcortyl ointment or simply a thin silastic sheet placed on the drum are no worse than time honoured BIPP. They have, as well, the advantage of being well-tolerated by the patients.
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