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Ear tubes in children: surgery risks and after care

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My son had tubes put in his ears at 2 months old. He had ear infections every week from the time he was born. Once we had the tubes put in, we had no infection. He is now 8 and can ear perfectly fine and has not had an infection since.


After a string of ear infections (half of them doubles) and a hearing test that showed some mild hearing loss, the ENT recommended ear tubes for Henry. As with any kind of surgery, there are risks involved.

In this case, surgery risks included:

- drainage from the ear

- hole in the eardrum after the tube falls out (tube should naturally fall out on its own after about a year or so)

- bleeding

- infection

General anesthesia risks included:

- breathing problems

- reactions to any medicines

The procedure itself is very short and is considered an outpatient procedure. Your child should be able to go home 4-5 hours after you arrived at the hospital.

The doctor may prescribe pain relief medicine or recommend Tylenol. They may also prescribe some antibiotic ear drops.

There may be fluid leaking from your child's ears up to a few days after. This is normal.

Try not to let water get into the ear. To prevent this from happening, your child will need to wear ear plugs when taking baths or showers, swimming and other water activities.

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