Myringotomy with Ventilation Tubes

Your doctor has recommended that you have a small ventilating tube inserted into your eardrum(s). This procedure involves making a tiny incision in your eardrum, removing any existing fluid and inserting the ventilating tube. With children this procedure is usually done at a Same Day Surgery Center under general mask anesthesia. The surgery takes about 20 minutes and the child will be able to go home about 30 minutes after surgery. With adults, the myringotomy with tube placement is usually performed in the doctor’s office using a local anesthetic.

The following BEFORE and AFTER instructions can help you obtain the best possible results from your surgery. If you have any questions, please call one of the nurses. Make sure your questions are answered before surgery!!!.



1. Tell your doctor all the medications and herbal supplements you are taking. This includes both prescription and over the counter medications.

2. DO NOT take any aspirin containing products for ____ weeks before and ____ weeks after surgery. Some arthritis medication and drugs like Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen and Aleve act like aspirin and should NOT be taken. These medications may cause increased bleeding during and after surgery. It is okay to take Tylenol during this time period.

3. If you develop a cold or any other infection during the two days prior to surgery, please notify our office immediately. The doctor may or may not prescribe an antibiotic instead of postponing your surgery.

4. Plan to spend 1-2 days away from work or school after surgery. This time frame is provided as a guideline since each individual’s recovery time will vary. Please postpone out of town plans for two weeks after surgery.




Continue to drink fluids (clear liquids only) up until ____ am/pm. Clear liquids consist of: water, apple or cranberry juice (no orange juice), Gatorade, Chicken Broth, Coffee or tea but no cream or sugar, popsicles and jello. You will feel much better on the day of surgery if you drink clear liquids up until the 4 hours before your scheduled surgery time.

2. OK to take important medications with a small amount of water the morning of surgery.

3. Remove all nail polish and make-up. Get a good night’s rest.

4. Get a good night’s rest.

5. Wear loose comfortable clothing. Children may wear their pajamas.

Arrange to have a responsible adult drive you to the surgery center and stay with you at home on the night of your surgery. That responsible adult MUST stay in the waiting room until you have been discharged back to them. (You are NOT allowed to drive yourself home)



It is normal to experience slight ear pain for a day or two after surgery. There may also be some drainage for the first week. If the ear was infected at the time of surgery, it will probably drain clear, white, yellow or green fluid for about one week.



1. ANTIBIOTICS: Your physician may or may not prescribe an antibiotic. If you are given a prescription, please take it as directed until you finish the supply. This is important in wound healing and in preventing infection. You will NOT need a refill.

2. PAIN MEDICATION: Prescription pain medication is not usually ordered for myringotomy surgery. If you need pain relief, you may use age appropriate Tylenol.

3. ANTI-NAUSEA MEDICATION: You may or may not have been given a prescription for suppositories to alleviate the nausea. If you were not given a prescription and you experience nausea and/or vomiting, please call the office.

4. Avoid alcoholic beverages as long as you are taking prescription medications.

5. DO NOT take Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen or Aleve for 2 weeks after surgery. These products can thin the blood and may cause bleeding.

6. Refills must be approved by your doctor. Plan ahead and allow the office 48 hours to refill your prescription. Be sure to mention any drug allergies, as well as the name and location of the pharmacy at the time of your refill request.

7. HYGIENE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP WATER OUT OF THE EARS. You may take a bath or shower at any time after surgery, however it is important to keep the ears dry to avoid infection. To plug ears, use a cotton ball covered with Vaseline. Use enough to create a good seal. Ear pain following bathing may be due to water entering the ear.


WHAT TO EXPECT: Ideally tubes will stay in place for 9-12 months, the eardrums will remain free of infection, and the tubes will fall out as the eardrum grows and pushes them out. Occasionally the tubes will fall out before 6 months or stay in longer than 12 months. The doctor will check tube placement and may check your hearing at follow-up appointments every 3-4 months until the tubes are out. In most cases, after the tubes are in place, you can return to all your normal activities and be free from pain and discomfort.

POSSIBLE EAR INFECTIONS: Although the tubes are in place, there is still a possibility of infection. Any clear, white, yellow, bloody or green drainage from the ear probably means the ear is infected. If you notice these symptoms please follow these instructions:

1. You may have been given a prescription for eardrops when you were discharged from the surgery center. If the eardrops are stored in the refrigerator, they will keep for a year. If you notice an ear infection, start applying 3 drops/3 times a day for a week to the draining ear after warming drops to room temperature. If ear is still draining after 3 days or if you have a fever of 101.5 or over, please call the office.

2. To report any symptoms and to obtain a prescription, please call our office.

3. Any age appropriate dose of Tylenol can be used to ease discomfort.



For those who swim, enjoy water sports or get ears completely wet during bathing, special earplugs should be used. Consult your doctor to determine which kind will be best for your activity.

1. A low grade fever of 99.9-100.9F is common. To help control your fever, drink plenty of fluids. If the fever exceeds 101.5, call the office.


DIET: Slowly progress to a regular diet as tolerated following surgery.



The doctor will want to see you between 2 and 3 weeks after surgery. Your follow up appointment will be made before you are discharged home on the day of surgery. If an appointment was not made or if you need to reschedule, please call our office.



1. Fever of 101.5 degrees or greater.

2. Severe pain not relieved by medication.

3. Vomiting 2 or more times in one day, after the first 24 hours.

4. Difficulty breathing or swallowing.

5. Excessive yellow or green ear drainage.

6. Welts, Hives or Rashes that appear after taking prescription medication(s).


*If you need to reach the Doctor for an emergency after hours.  Please call our office number (385-7272).  Select option #7 to reach the on call doctor.


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