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Ear Tubes


Tubes are placed during surgery. Most children will go home the same day of the surgery. Your child is briefly put to sleep during the procedure. When you schedule the surgery, we will tell you that your child cannot ear or drink (including water) for a certain number of hours before the surgery. It is very important to have an empty stomach so that he or she doesn’t vomit and inhale it in while asleep.

After you child is asleep, your doctor makes a tiny surgical opening under a microscope in your child’s eardrum. Any fluid present in the middle ear is then suctioned out. Next, the tube is put in the small opening in the eardrum. Most tubes look like a small spool, generally the size of the tip of a pen.

It is normal for your child to be tired, irritable or feel sick to his or her stomach for a few hours after surgery. If your child continues to feel sick or vomits after you go home, call your doctor. There may be persistent watery ear drainage, sometimes blood-tinged, for the next 48 hours. This is normal.

When your child is ready to eat, offer clear liquids such as juice, broth, or popsicles, and if tolerated offer a light diet such as toast, crackers, or applesauce. When your child eats these foods without problems, he or she can resume a normal diet.

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