Myringotomy Tubes

Although by age five, the majority of children in America will have experienced at least one ear infection, it is a myth that ear infections are limited to children. In fact, we have seen patients in their sixties and seventies who continue to have middle ear problems which require PE Tubes.

While most childhood ear infections resolve on their own, many require treatment with antibiotics or occassionally tubes. Sometimes, the infections lead to other disorders such as hearing loss, poor academic performance, auditory processing disorders, speech problems or development of more serious disorders such as cholesteatomas or meningitis.

When tubes are required, we usually place a small titanium tube, strong enough to remain open, but light enough to minimize any injury to the ear. Occasionally we will use a plastic, or fluroplastic tube. This is particularly true when using a long term tube (also called a permanent tube). Most tubes are designed to remain in place between six months and two years, with the average being about one year. Longer term tubes are designed to remain in place until removed. Although, occasionally they may extrude on their own.

Before Surgery

  • Do NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight before surgery
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing the day of your surgery.
  • Have someone with you to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Do NOT take any medications with aspirin or blood thinners for TWO WEEKS before your surgery. Any other regular medications prescribed by your doctor for heart, diabetes, blood pressure, etc. are ok to take before surgery. Please bring these medications with you to the hospital on the day of surgery. TYLENOL is ok to take for pain before surgery.
  • Please call if you are unable the keep your scheduled appointment for surgery.
  • Please pre-admit before your surgery. This avoids timely delays in getting your blood work results before surgery.

After Surgery

  • Use ear drops only if directed by your doctor.
  • Expect some drainage from the ear for several days.
  • If the patient develops a fever over 102 degrees, call the office immediately.
  • Do not swim or get water in the ears until cleared by your doctor.
  • Wear ear plugs when going into a pool or while bathing. If you do not have ear plugs and water gets into the ears, use ear drops.
  • Schedule a post-op appointment for two weeks after the surgery.
  • If you experience any symptoms that are not listed that you feel are significant please call immediately.

Possible Complications

Potential complications include, but are not limited to:

  • Permanent or temporary hearing loss
  • Post operative bleeding or other drainage from the ear
  • Perforation or granulation of the eardrum requiring additional surgeries
  • Death, brain damage, temporary or permanent loss of an airway, paresthesias, neuralgias, neuropraxia.
  • Need for further or additional surgery.
  • Scarring, anomalous apppearance of the eardrum or middle ear structures including injury to the ossicles.
  • Injury, accidental burns or other injuries directly or not directly related to the procedure, infections at the site of the surgery or insertion of IVs.
  • Adverse or unforseen reactions to medications, drugs or or other agents commonly used for anesthesia or surgery.