PDF Download Post-operative Instructions for Ear Tubes
Recovery: Recovery from anesthesia usually lasts about 30-60 minutes. Patients experience no postoperative pain, but sleepiness or irritability from the anesthesia can occur briefly.
Diet: There are no dietary restrictions after ear tube surgery.
Activity: There are no activity restrictions. Swim and bathe normally after ear tube surgery, although older children with ear tubes may experience discomfort with swim water exposure. If so, or if swimming is routinely 3 feet or deeper, or in untreated water (ie. Lake water), then swim plugs can be worn. Our office makes custom swim molds for this purpose. Never use alcohol or any “swim ear” product while ear tubes are in place, as this will cause pain.
pain: Patients experience no postoperative pain.
fever: Fever related to the surgery is not expected. Call your surgeon if fever is > 102.
ear drainage or “otorrhea”: Ear drainage will be expected if there was pus or fluid in the middle ear at the time of surgery. This can be blood-tinged. Use the eardrops prescribed or provided by your surgeon at the time of surgery as instructed. If the otorrhea persists or recurs after you have completed the eardrop course, please call the office.
ear pulling: not uncommon in infants, no concern.
flying: Your child may fly at any time after ear tubes are placed. They will not experience ear pain with pressure changes as the tubes ventilate the middle ear to prevent the need to “pop” the ears.
Medications: Pain medication(s) are not routinely required. You may use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for any reason. Antibiotic if prescribed by your surgeon.
Follow-up appointment: A routine follow-up visit is usually made for about 2 weeks after surgery. This appointment is coordinated with an audiogram (hearing test). This appointment is usually made when the surgery is scheduled.