What to expect following Myringotomy with tube placement (Ear Tubes)

This procedure may be performed in the office setting or operating room using local or general anesthesia depending on the age and anatomic consideration of the patient. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes depending on whether one or both ears are to be treated. It may be performed by itself or at the same setting as adenoidectomy with or without tonsillectomy, or another procedure.

Following the procedure eardrops are prescribed for three to five days and the patient should keep water out of the ear canal until cleared by the doctor.

Tubes stay in place for approximately two years and tend to come out on their own without any complication. For some patients (<5%) and depending on the nature of their ear drum and middle, the tubes may fall out earlier, or conversely stay in longer than desired.  If they fall out too early they may have to be replaced, and if they stay in too long (>30 months), your doctor may advise to have them removed, a procedure performed in the operating room.

In addition to the above-mentioned risks, rarely a tube may fall out and leave a small perforation that, if left untreated, can cause a mild hearing loss. This can be repaired usually with a minor 10-minute procedure (patch myringoplasty). It is important to have regular check ups with your surgeon to check the tube every 4-6 months to ensure proper care and treatment if necessary.  Please do not assume that your child will complain if there is a problem.

In the appropriate patient, the placement of ear tubes can help restore hearing, help with speech development in a delayed child, and limit the number of infections. They may also be performed to treat sudden deafness or an acute complication of otitis media (middle ear infections).

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office to speak to your surgeon or member of our staff.