Myringotomy with PE Tubes

Prior to surgery, please call Dr. Cecola’s office if your child becomes ill during the week prior to surgery.

What to expect after surgery
Pain is usually mild and can be managed with acetaminophen (Tylenol or equivalent) or ibuprofen (Children’s Motrin or Advil). Blood-tinged drainage from the ears may occur for the first couple of days. Drainage beyond 3 days would be reason to notify the doctor’s office. Drops will be prescribed for 3 days after surgery to prevent plugging of the tubes. Use of drops for a longer period may be recommended if drainage persists. Your child may play with or pull at his ears during the healing period. Occasionally children will cry when the ear drops are used. A clear liquid diet is recommended immediately after surgery. Diet can be advanced to regular as tolerated. Your child may return to daycare or school the day following surgery under most circumstances.

Water precautions
Swimming is allowed after surgery, but ear plugs are usually recommended to prevent water from entering the ear tubes. These can be purchased ready made or can be customized to fit your child’s ears. In the bathtub, cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can be used to prevent splashing of water into the ears. Water in the ears should be avoided the entire time that the tubes are in place in the eardrums.

Follow-up appointments
Dr. Cecola routinely likes to see patients within 2 to 3 weeks after the operation. Follow¬up otherwise should occur at least every 4 months until the tubes are out.

Ear drainage after the follow-up visit
Drainage through the tubes usually implies infection and may respond to antibiotic drops. Starting these drops early may prevent the need for antibiotics by mouth. Call Dr. Cecola’s office for a prescription and a follow-up visit.

PE tube removal
The tubes will usually fall out on their own within the first couple of years following surgery (average one year). If your child’s tubes are still in the eardrums after 2 years, consideration may be given to tube removal. Be certain to follow up with Dr. Cecola.