Ear Tubes Surgery Care

Learn what care is required for the Ear Tubes Surgery procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Ear Tubes Surgery Details


Alternate Names for Ear Tubes Surgery:
Myringotomy
Tympanostomy
Tympanotomy

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

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.
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
  • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)

Anesthesia

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.

How Long Will It Take?

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

Learn what Ear Tubes Surgery is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Ear Tubes Surgery
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Ear Tubes Surgery Complications
Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Ear Tubes Surgery Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Ear Tubes Surgery Results
Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Ear Tubes Surgery
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO