Otorrhea is the most common complication of surgical drainage of the tympanum for the treatment of chronic secretory otitis media. Otorrhea present at the first postoperative visit may be due to the operative procedure, the underlying disease process, or both. After analyzing data from 525 operations on 1045 ears of 396 children with chronic secretory otitis media, and finding an over-all incidence of immediate postoperative otorrhen of 3.4%, we conclude that preparation of the ear canal with povidone iodine and the postoperative prophylactic use of an antimicrobial-corticosteroid topical preparation provides optimal control of postoperative wound infection. Sporadic increases in the incidence of postoperative otorrhea may be due to extrinsic factors such as outbreaks of upper respirntory infection.
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