Myringotomy and Tubes Instructions

Print Discharge Instructions (Word doc)

What is a Myringotomy?

During a Myringotomy a small incision is placed in the ear drum to drain the fluid and relieve pressure from the middle of the ear. A small tube shaped like a spool of thread, known as pressure-equalizing (P.E.) tube, is placed into the opening to ventilate the ear and prevent fluid from accumulating. The ear drum heals around the tubes. The tubes are expected to fall out naturally in 6-12 months or may be removed by a physician.


Your child has received general anesthesia for this procedure. He/she may feel somewhat dizzy and/or sleepy after the surgery. Anesthetic agents can remain in one’s body for up to 24 hours. It is important for your child to rest for the remainder of the day and be under adult supervision. Your child should not ride his/her bike or perform such activities that require coordination.

Postoperative care:

Once your child feels better, they can start doing all the things s/he does normally. They may have a small amount of bleeding or a small amount of light yellow fluid from their ears. Please notify the doctor’s office if the drainage is continuous or the bleeding is excessive. Your doctor may send you home with some ear drops to prevent a bacterial infection. If there is cotton in the ears, it may be removed in the afternoon or evening after surgery. When blowing your nose, do so gently. Try and sneeze with your mouth open. Keep your head elevated on at least two pillows.

Swimming/ bathing:

Try to avoid water from entering into the ear for up to 10 days. However, it is more of a problem if soap enters the ear through the tubes than if water does. For this reason, when washing hair or showering, use ear plugs. Washing ears with a face cloth is allowed. Use ear plugs when swimming as well.

Pain Control:

A slight earache is not unusual. This is usually relieved by giving your child Acetaminophen or Tylenol. Severe pain must be reported to your physician.

Notify your doctor if the following occurs:

• There is excessive bleeding for more than three days

• There is excessive drainage for more than three day.

• Fever greater than 101

• Ear pain lasting more than two days.

• A displaced tube (out of the ear)

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