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Ear tube surgery - what to ask your doctor

 

Definition

Your child has had ear tube insertion, the placement of tubes in a child’s eardrums. It was done to allow fluid behind your child’s eardrums to drain. This can help their ears work better.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your child’s doctor or nurse to help you take care of your child's ears.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about ear tube surgery; Tympanostomy - what to ask your doctor; Myringotomy - what to ask your doctor

Questions

Why does my child need ear tubes?

Can we try other treatments? What are the risks of the surgery?

Is it safe to wait before getting ear tubes?

  • Will it harm my child's ears if we wait longer before putting in tubes?
  • Will my child still learn to speak and read if we wait longer before putting in tubes?

What type of anesthesia will my child need? Will my child feel any pain? What are the risks of the anesthesia?

How long will the tubes stay in? How do the tubes come out? Do the holes where the tubes are placed close up?

Will my child still have ear infections while the tubes are in place? Will my child have ear infections again after the ear tubes come out?


Review Date: 3/7/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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