Tympanostomy (ear) tubes are placed in your child’s eardrum to treat recurrent ear infections, fluid behind the
eardrum, and abnormal pressure behind the eardrum. They allow air to enter through the eardrum to the
middle ear and also allow any fluid to drain from behind the eardrum.
Common questions after surgery
Will I be able to see the tubes? The tubes are very small and you will not be able to see the tubes.
Will my child be able to feel the tubes? Your child will not be able to feel the tubes. Most children have
little if any discomfort. Some children may pull at their ears. Pain medication is usually not necessary, but
acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended if necessary.
What happens if my child runs a fever? Low-grade fevers are common after surgery. Your child may run
a fever for several days after surgery. If the fever remains over 102 and is not improving 30-45 minutes after
ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) please call the office. It is important that children drink plenty of
fluids after surgery. This will not only make them feel better, but will reduce the chance of fevers.
Does it hurt to get water in the ears? Does my child need to wear ear plugs when swimming? Your child
may bathe or shower. Children who swim under water may be more susceptible to ear pain or infections. You
can protect the ears from excessive water exposure by using silicone earplugs. We do not routinely
recommend the use of earplugs for children with bathing or swimming in a pool (this includes traditionally
chlorinated and salt water pools). If your child is going to be swimming under water in any fresh water source
(un-chlorinated) or ocean water we do recommend the use of ear plugs.
Can my child use swimmer’s ear drops in their ears after swimming? No. The use of swimmer’s ear
drops (which contain an alcohol and acid based liquid), rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide while the tubes
are in place and functioning will lead to intense burning and pain for your child.
Should I be concerned if there is drainage from the ear? Drainage from the ear is not unusual after
surgery. The drainage can sometimes be pink tinged or yellow. This can happen if there was fluid or an
infection at the time of surgery. Please make sure that you give your child ear drops (prescription will be
given at the time of surgery). Please call the office if drainage continues for more than 3 days. This is not an
emergency and is best discussed with the office during office hours.
When should we return to see the doctor after surgery? Your child should return to see us 4-6 weeks
after surgery. We will repeat your child’s hearing test with this visit.
How can I reach the doctor after hours? There is a doctor on call 24 hours. If you need to reach us,
please call the office number: 972-745-8400 or 817-337-3339.