VENTILATING TUBES/GROMETTS

 

What should I expect after surgery?
Patients generally recover quickly following insertion of ventilating tubes and pain is rarely an issue.  There may be an unusual sensation in the ear due to the pressure difference.  It is also common for there to be a discharge from the ear for twenty four hours following surgery.  This does not require any further intervention and will usually settle down on its own.  If the discharge persists you will need to seek medical attention.

Will there be any pain?
It is unusual for there to be any pain following ventilating tube insertion. However, it is a surgical procedure with general anesthetic, therefore, discomfort, lethargy and perhaps a feeling of being unwell may be experienced for up to 48 hours following surgery.  If there is sharp, unbearable pain and or persistent discharge you should seek medical advice. 

My ears are discharging with pus and blood. Is this normal?
It is normal to see a small amount of discharge with a mixture of dried blood from the grommets for the first day or two following surgery.  Should the discharge persist or stop then reoccur several days after surgery you should seek medical attention as you may require antibiotic ear drops. 

My ears feel blocked. Is this normal?
It is normal to experience an unusual pressure sensation in the ears following your surgery.  The ears are becoming accustomed to the new pressure changes and this will usually subside over the next two weeks after surgery.

What should I do if I have an earache?
If you experience earache after surgery it should resolve itself within a day or two and be managed with over the counter pain medication e.g. paracetamol.  If the pain becomes unmanageable or there is persistent discharge from the ear, please seek medical attention.
 
Swimming, bathing and ear plugs after venting tube surgery.
We do not recommend any swimming or submerging the ears in water for the first two weeks following surgery.  After two weeks you should wear ear plugs when swimming or submerging the ears in water to prevent water reaching the inner ear.  No protection is needed for baths and showers as long as the head or ears are not submerged under water. 

When can I start getting back to school, sport and work?
Most patients resume their usual activities within a day or two following their ventilating tube insertion. 

When can I fly? Are there any precautions I should take?
You can fly twenty four hours following the general anaesthetic.  There should be no problems with pressure equalisation as the ventilating tubes will act as a pressure equalisation valve. However, you may like to use EarPlanes® which are designed to help relieve inflight discomfort.