Advice Sheet: Grommets
WHAT TO EXCEPT AFTER SURGERY
- After surgery, the patient is monitored in the recovery room and will usually go home within an hour if no complications are present.
- Patients usually experience little or not post-operative pain but grogginess, irritability and nausea from the anaesthesia can occur temporarily.
- Hearing loss caused by the presence of middle ear fluid is immediately resolved by surgery.
- Sometimes children can hear so much better that they complain that normal sounds seem too loud.
- The patient may also be prescribed antibiotic ear drops for a few days.
- To avoid the possibility of bacteria entering the middle ear through the ventilation tube, physicians may recommend keeping ears dry by using ear plugs or other water tight devices during bathing, swimming, and water activities. However, recent research suggests that protecting the ear may not be necessary, except when in the bath or with soapy water.
- Myringotomy with insertion of grommets is an extremely common and safe procedure with minimal complications.
- Ear infections can still occur in the middle ear or around the ear tube. However, these infections are usually less frequent, result in less hearing loss and are easier to treat, often only with ear drops and sometimes oral antibiotics if needed.
GROMMETS COME OUT TO EARLY OR STAY IN TOO LONG
- If a grommet comes out of the drum too soon (which is unpredictable) fluid may return and repeat surgery may be needed.
- Grommets that remain in too long may result in perforation or may require removal by the doctor.
MEDICATION TO RELIEVE PAIN NEED ONLY BE TAKEN IF NECESSARY.
POST OPERATIVE FOLLOW-UP
- If an appointment has not already been made for you, please telephone for an appointment. The first post-operative appointment should be about 7 - 10 days after operation
- If the ears remain dry the patient should be checked at +/- 9 month intervals until the grommets are extruded which they will do by themselves within 9 - 12 months.