After Tympanostomy Tubes


After surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored by a nurse. You may be invited into the recovery room as your child becomes aware of their surroundings and starts looking for you. Your child should be able to go home the same day as the surgery once they have fully recovered from the anesthetic. This usually takes about one hour.

Your child may resume a normal diet after he or she has fully recovered from the anesthetic. Even though they may be hungry immediately after surgery, it is best to feed them slowly to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting. Occasionally, children may vomit after anesthetic especially if they eat too much too fast.  You will be prescribed antibiotic drops to use  twice a day for 3 days post operatively. There is usually not much pain post op but Tylenol can be given every four hours if there is. There may be a little draining or bleeding from the ears. The drops help keep the tubes from getting blocked. 

Tympanostomy tubes usually stay in place from 6 to 18 months. If they stay in longer than two to three years, they may need to be surgically removed. It is important to have an ear check-up about every four months during this time period. An audiogram is usually obtained at some point after the ear has healed. The tubes eventually fall out of the eardrum on their own as the ear heals. The small hole in the eardrum at the old tube site usually heals within several weeks after the tube has extruded. Often the tube remains in the canal and is removed painlessly in the office.


Keep the ears completely dry for the first 48 hours after surgery.

After 48 hours, showering or pouring water over the head during bathing is fine. Do not submerge your head in the bathtub without proper water protection. 

Swimming up to a depth of 4 feet in chlorinated water is fine. If submerging the head deeper than 4 feet we recommend using moulded ear plugs. Moulded ear plugs are also recommended for swimming in non chlorinated water such as an ocean or a lake or if submerging the head in a bathtub. A prescription will be given for the moulded ear plugs to be made at a local audiology clinic or public health clinic.

If you have any questions, please call our offices.