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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Ear Tube Insertion: Home Care and Complications
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Ear Tube Insertion

Alternate Names : Myringotomy, Tympanostomy, Ear Tube Surgery

Ear Tube Insertion | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

What happens later at home?

Usually a person recovers within 1 or 2 days after the procedure. Often eardrops are prescribed for the first few days after surgery.

A person will be given special instructions about how to care for his or her ears and tubes. It is important that he or she follow these directions carefully. For instance, a healthcare provider may recommend that he or she:

  • wear special earplugs when swimming so that water does not enter the ear canal
  • wear a shower cap when shampooing hair or showering for a few weeks after the procedure
  • put a small piece of cotton in the ear after showering, shampooing, or swimming to absorb any excess water
  • What are the potential complications after the procedure?

    Here are some complications that may occur after ear tubes are inserted:

  • The person may continue to have ear infections that require antibiotics.
  • The tubes may come out too quickly. This means that new tubes may need to be inserted if infections continue.
  • The tubes may have to be removed by a surgeon if they dislodge into the space by the middle ear. If they do not fall out correctly on their own, they also may need to be surgically removed.
  • Once the tubes fall out, scarring may occur.
  • Rarely, a small hole may be left in the eardrum. This may require surgery to patch it.
  • If unusual or foul smelling drainage from the ear is noticed, a person should contact his or her healthcare provider.

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    Ear Tube Insertion: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Leslie Marc Garson, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/04/01

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