Postoperative Instructions For Tube Insertion in Ears

Tubes are intended to be TEMPORARY. Many times, they come out by themselves. You may not notice them, since they are very small and can be hidden in wax. Rarely, however, the tubes do NOT come out by themselves and must be removed. It is important that this be done not later than two (2) years after placement, since if they are left in too long, the ears may not heal properly.

ACTIVITY and WATER PRECAUTIONS: Activity does not need to be limited following placement of tubes except for water precautions. Keep soap, water, etc. out of ears. If some accidentally gets in, don’t panic! It can only cause problems if it gets through the tiny tube. Earplugs help keep water out of ears. They are available at drug stores. If they are used, be sure they are firmly in place. Swimming with them is usually possible, but jumping or diving into the water is not. This may dislodge the plugs.

DIET: After discharge from the hospital or surgery center, adequate fluids are essential and may be given in almost any form such as water, soda, juice, jello or popsicles. Encourage fluids for at least ten (10) days. Soft foods are tolerated best at first and should be encouraged. Normal diet can be advanced as tolerated.

PAIN: If the patient complains of pain in the ear(s), the pain may be due to an ear infection. This is uncommon with tubes in place and is usually accompanied by drainage. The pain may also be due to getting water in the ear(s), or may be “referred pain” from another source (such as a sore throat or teething). Medication may be prescribed to help control pain, take as directed. You may also use Tylenol or Acetaminophen.

DRAINAGE and BLEEDING: There may be some drainage and/or bleeding from the ears the day the tubes are inserted. It should diminish the following day. If you notice mucus, pus or blood coming from the ear(s), keep track of it. If this type of drainage persists for more than twenty-four (24) hours, please contact us. This is important … but not an emergency. You may be prescribed eardrops and/or antibiotics by mouth. If the ear does not dry up after ten (10) days of treatment, please contact us. See contact information below.

FEVER: Very slight elevations of temperature during the first few days are usual. If the temperature goes above 101.5 degrees, please contact us.

MEDICATIONS: Medication may be prescribed to help control pain, take as directed. You may also use Tylenol or Acetaminophen. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic take as directed. You may resume any other medications that you use regularly. If taking pain medications, avoid drinking alcohol or other dangerous situations. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ASPIRIN CONTAINING MEDICATIONS FOR AT LEAST THREE (3) WEEKS. Tylenol or Acetaminophen usually controls the pain.

FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO THE OFFICE: If a postoperative appointment has not been made for you, please call the office during the first few days to arrange an appointment within one to two (1-2) weeks following the surgery. Pediatric follow-up appointments will be made to check the ears while the tubes are in place. P

ROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS: For any problems that arise, or to ask any questions, please call the office during regular business hours at (772) 398-9911, (772) 464-6055, (863) 357-7791 or contact the Answering Service after hours by dialing (772) 320-0400. Drs. Berghash, Lanza, Wright or Zeiders are on call after hours and weekends for emergencies.

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