Ear tube placement is the most common childhood surgery in the United States. If your child has chronic ear infections, you can trust the professionals at ENT Specialists of Austin to provide the most effective treatment possible.
If ear tubes are necessary, our team of Physicians make the surgery as easy as possible. If you live in the Austin or Cedar Park, Texas areas and think your child needs tubes, make an appointment online or over the phone today.
Ear Tubes Q & A
What are Ear Tubes?
Ear tubes are minuscule plastic tubes that your surgeon places inside your child’s eardrum to help create a drainage passage for fluids. Fluid accumulation behind the eardrum can cause recurrent ear infections and hearing impairment; ear tubes help prevent those complications by adequately ventilating them.
Surgery for ear tubes is the most common procedure for children, but it’s not very common for adults as their eustachian tubes become fully developed.
When Do Children Need Tubes in Their Ears?
When fluid builds up behind the eardrum, it may start to affect your child’s hearing and speech development. The fluid also leads to recurrent ear infections for some children.
If the drainage problem doesn’t clear up on its own or with nonsurgical treatment, your ENT specialist may suggest tubes to ventilate your child’s middle ear. Ear tubes usually result in:
- Improved hearing
- Improved speech
- Fewer ear infections
- Better balance
What Happens During Ear Tube Placement Surgery?
First, the surgical team places heart rate and blood pressure monitors on your child so they can track your child’s stats during the procedure. Next, your child receives general anesthesia so they won’t remember the procedure or experience any pain.
To begin the operation, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in your child’s eardrum. Then, they remove any fluid buildup inside the middle ear. Finally, they place the tube inside the hole in the eardrum.
The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes, after which your surgeon takes your child to a recovery room.
What Happens After Ear Tube Placement Surgery?
After recovery, you can usually take your child home within a few hours if there are no complications. Your ENT specialist provides you with all necessary aftercare instructions and schedules your follow-up appointments.
Your child can rest at home for a day and resume normal activities after that. They may need to use earplugs to go swimming.
Ear tubes usually stay in place for 6-9 months while the eardrum heals around them. Then, the tubes naturally fall out on their own.
If your child seems to have recurring ear troubles or problems hearing, make an appointment for a professional evaluation at ENT Specialists of Austin online or over the phone.