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Instructions Following Myringotomy With Tube Placement

This information describes what to expect after your myringotomy with tube placement and how to take care of yourself.

A myringotomy with tube placement is done to relieve pressure and drain fluid from behind the eardrum. After a local anesthetic (numbing medication) is given, a small incision (surgical cut) is made in the eardrum. A tube is then placed to allow fluid to drain out. This relieves pressure and improves hearing. Your tube may fall out of your ear. This typically happens 6 months after your procedure.

After Your Procedure

  • It may take a few days for your hearing to improve.
  • You may have some temporary dizziness. If you feel dizzy for more than 12 hours, call your doctor.
  • Avoid vigorous head shaking.
  • You may notice a small amount of clear or yellow colored fluid draining from your ear. This is normal and may last for a few months.
  • Do not get water in your ear. Before you shower, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) to a cotton ball. Place the cotton ball in your ear or ears that have a tube. You can also use waterproof earplugs if you prefer.
  • If you go swimming, you must wear waterproof ear plugs to protect against bacteria.
  • You may have mild discomfort 1 to 2 days after your procedure. To treat your discomfort, you may take 1 to 2 acetaminophen (Tylenol®) every 4 to 6 hours. If the acetaminophen does not help, call your doctor.

Return for your follow-up appointment on ___________________________

Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • Dizziness that does not get better
  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Increased pain or discomfort in your ear
  • A loss of hearing in your affected ear
  • Green or yellow drainage with an odor from your affected ear