Postoperative Care after Myringotomy and Tubes

  1.  The tube placed in the patient’s eardrum helps equalize pressure and prevent accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. This will improve hearing and prevent recurrent infections.
  2. Water that gets in the ear can cause infection. For routine bathing earplugs are not necessary unless you child puts his head under water or water is routinely poured in and around the ear. Also if your child dives under the water when swimming then ear protection is necessary. However for playing on the surface or in the kiddy pool earplugs are not necessary.
  3. If your child swims with his head below the surface or if water frequently gets in the ear when bathing then custom earplugs are recommended. These can be fitted by one of our audiologists in any of our offices. Standard earplugs can be purchased in any pharmacy. Alternatively cotton with Vaseline can be placed in the outside of the ear canal to prevent water from entering the ear. When swimming and going under water a neoprene headband “Ear Band-It” on top of the earplugs is recommended.
  4. The tubes will fall out of the eardrum anywhere from 4 months to 2 years following the surgery. Your child’s ears will be checked every 4 months.
  5. If eardrops have been prescribed three drops should be placed three times a day with the head tilted all the way to one side for 30 seconds.
  6. If a tonsillectomy has been performed at the same time as the tubes are placed then the ear pain your child experiences is due to the tonsillectomy and not from the tubes. This is not an ear infection. If an adenoidectomy has been performed in addition to placement of tubes then your child may have some bloody discharge from the nose for one to two days after the procedure. Also there may be some neck discomfort.
  7. Call the doctor if there is ear drainage (pus) for more than one day. This may be an ear infection.
  8. No heavy lifting or nose blowing for three days postop.
  9. A normal diet bathroom use and bathing (except as directed above) may be resumed after surgery.
  10. Call the office for an appointment 2 weeks after surgery.
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