What happens after tubes are inserted?

Immediately after the procedure, the surgeon will examine the patient for persistent or profuse bleeding or discharge. The child will be given antibiotic eardrops to use for a couple of days to prevent clogging. After one month, we will review the tube placement will be reviewed and possibly test the patient’s hearing. Later, we will see whether the tube was effective in removing infection.

With the average set of tubes, you can expect them to just grow out and the eardrum to heal itself in six to twelve months. If the patient is age six or younger, it is recommended that tubes remain in place for up to two years. During this time, be aware of getting water in the ears. We recommend giving the eardrops after prolonged bathing or swimming. Ear plugs, although not a bad idea, have never proven effective in controlled studies. Use them only if they are not a bother.

We generally see patients every three to four months after tubes are inserted to ensure proper healing and development. 80% of patients who need tubes only need one set.

If the infections persist, this may be a result of chronically infected adenoids and tonsils, in which case we may recommend removal of adenoids and/or tonsils. This is usually done when the second set of ventilation tubes are inserted. Allergies may also require additional investigation and treatment.

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