Kevin T Kavanagh, MD FACS Cumberland Otolaryngology Consultants 

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Myringotomy (Ear) Tube Care

The first day after surgery your child my experience mild pain.  Tylenol will usually control the discomfort, only rarely will your child need narcotic pain medication. 

We recommend that you keep water out of the patient's ears.  Many articles in the literature have not found a difference in ear infections between children who follow water precautions and those that do not.  However, we have seen many patients who have developed an ear infection after getting bath or lake water in their ears.   Swimming with ear plugs in a chlorinated pool is allowed. 

If fluid was found in your child's ears at the time of surgery, ear drops may be recommended for a few days.  

Myringotomy (Ear) Tube Complications

1.  Perforation of the eardrum; this occurs in about 1% of patients.  If a long acting or "T" tube is inserted, this may occur in up to 30% of ears. 

2.  Cholesteatoma.  This is a skin cyst which forms in the ear.  This is a very rare complication. 

3.  Massive bleeding from injuring a congenital dehiscence of the jugular bulb.  This is a very, very rare occurrence and often detected prior to surgery. 

4.  Hearing loss and vertigo.  Mild hearing loss may occur from scarring or damage to the eardrum.  This is most often the result of the underlying disease process. 

5.  Allergic reactions to drugs, bleeding, infection and even death.