Instructions for Children Following Ear-Tube Surgery

General Instructions

1. Most children recover from ear-tube surgery and anesthetic within a few hours. Most children do not require pain medication afterwards but acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may be given if your child experiences discomfort or is fussy. A few children may experience nausea or fatigue following the ear tube procedure, which should resolve on its own within a few hours.

2. If antibiotics eardrops have been prescribed, use them as directed.

3.Your child may resume normal activities including school or day care the day after ear tube surgery.

Handling Ear Drainage

1. Drainage from the ears may occur during the first few days following tube insertion. This represents clearance of any residual middle ear fluid and can be any color (clear, cloudy or bloody). It is also normal if you do not see any ear drainage postoperatively.

2. Ear drainage should resolve by the time you have finished the prescribed eardrops. Please notify the office if ear drainage persist or starts again once you have finished giving the eardrops.

Water Precautions: Bathing and Swimming

1. During bathing you should prevent soapy water from flooding the ears, especially when rinsing shampoo from the hair. You may use silicone earplugs, cotton balls (with the outer surface coated with Vaseline) a washcloth or your hand cupped over your child’s ear while rinsing.

2. Children may swim in a pool without ear plugs even if submerging underwater. Some children dislike the feeling of water entering the ears during swimming and may wear ear plugs for comfort.

Follow-Up Care

1. Your child should be seen in the office 3-4 weeks after surgery to check the position of the tubes to see that they are open and functioning well, and arrange any post operative hearing testing that may be appropriate. Please call our office to schedule this appointment if it has not already been arranged.

2. Please contact our office (617-636-2820) with any ear tubes side effects, problems or questions. If a problem arises after hours or on an evening or weekend call 617-636-5496 to reach the physician on call.