Ear Tubes Surgery Care
Ear Tubes Surgery Details
Alternate Names for Ear Tubes Surgery:
Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Blood tests
- Hearing test
- Tympanogram-a test that measures how well the ear drum responds to changes in pressure
- Examine the external ear and the ear drum with a special instrument called an otoscope
Leading up to your procedure:
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- Do not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before the procedure.
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
General anesthesia is most often used. You will be asleep. In some cases, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the ear.Description of Procedure
A small microscope is placed in position to give the doctor a better view. A tiny incision will be made in the eardrum. Fluid from the middle ear will then be drained. In most cases, a small tube will be inserted and left in place. This will allow the drainage to continue.
No stitches will be used to close the incision. The incision will heal itself. The procedure is often done on both ears. Some doctors may use a laser beam to make the opening in the ear drum.
The surgery will last about 15–20 minutes.Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. You may have minor pain after surgery. Your doctor can give you pain medicine or recommend a nonprescription pain reliever to manage this discomfort. Also, lidocaine ear drops may be given to decrease pain.
If ear tubes are inserted, you may feel popping, pulsation, clicking, or minor pain when burping, chewing, or yawning until the ear heals around the tubes.Postoperative Care
After the procedure, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions , which may include:
- If cotton was placed in the ear canal to absorb postsurgical drainage, change it regularly. (Drainage should end or reduce to a minimal amount within 2-3 days.)
- If you are given ear drops, use as directed. You will usually put three drops in each ear, three times a day for three days after surgery.
- If water gets in the ear after surgery, monitor for drainage. If drainage begins, use ear drops if directed by your physician, and if drainage continues for three days (or as directed), call your doctor.
- To speed healing, resume normal activities as soon as possible.
- Take any medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
- Use ear plugs as prescribed by your doctor while swimming or bathing, and avoid underwater swimming and diving unless instructed otherwise.
- Do not drive for at least 3-4 days after surgery.
- See your doctor for any needed tests.
- Do not clean your ear after surgery or place anything other than ear drops, cotton, or ear plugs into the ear, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
Complete healing without complications should occur within four weeks. If ear tubes were inserted, they should fall out within 6-12 months. In some cases, surgery to remove the ear tubes may be necessary. Most ear drums heal normally after tubes come out, but visible scarring is not unusual.
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.