Do not give your child aspirin for a week before the
operation, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
Follow any instructions your doctor may give you. Your
child may eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before the
procedure. He or she shouldnot eat or drink anything after midnight and
the morning before the procedure. Do not even let him or her drink milk,
tea, or water.
All the child's clothing , including the underwears
should be comfortable and made of cotton. Avoid tight and synthetic
What happens during surgery?
PE tubes are put in during day surgery. Your child does not have to
stay overnight in the hospital. Your child will have general anesthesia
and will be asleep through the surgery. Using a microscope, the ear
surgeon makes a small cut in the eardrum. Any fluid in the middle ear is
removed. The tube is put in the eardrum hole and stays in place without
Surgery on both eardrums takes less than 20 minutes. Recovery from
anesthesia is rapid and your child will be able to go home in about 1
When will my child's hearing improve?
Many children can hear better right away after the ear tubes have
been put in. The child may be frightened by normal noises that now seem
loud. This will go away as soon as your child gets used to hearing
normal sound volumes.
Discharge Instructions (after day surgery)
- Pain Medicine. Most children are back to normal a
few hours after surgery and don't have any pain. If your child is
fussy or runs a fever after surgery, give acetaminophen every 4 hours
according to the directions for your child's age.
- Diet. Your child may feel sick to his stomach or
throw up right after surgery. First give your child cool, clear
liquids to drink. As your child feels like eating, slowly return to a
- Ear Drainage after Surgery. Because an opening in
the eardrum has been made, you may see drainage from the middle ear
for 2 to 3 days after the operation. The drainage may be clear pink or
- Protection from Water. After the ear tubes are in
place, try to keep water out of the ears. Often there won't be a
problem if water does get in the ears, but water can carry germs into
the middle ear through the tube and cause an ear infection. During
bathing, shampooing, and swimming, your child's ears should be
protected. Vaseline coated cotton balls, silicone ear putty, or
specially made ear molds can be placed in the outer ear to block the
ear canal. Only ear molds should be used when swimming. No diving.
- Ear Infections. PE tubes will help stop ear
infections most of the time. However, an ear infection can still
occur. You should call the office if your child ever has ear pain,
fullness in the ears, hearing problems, or drainage or blood from the
ears (except just after surgery).
- Tube Removal. PE tubes do not need to be
surgically removed. PE tubes are slowly pushed out of the eardrums and
fall out of the ear. This usually happens 3 to 12 months after
surgery. Most children (85%) will not need a second set of PE tubes
put in. By the time the tubes have fallen out, most children have
outgrown the need for tubes.