Ear Tube Insertion
Myringotomy, or ear ventilation tube insertion, is a procedure to drain fluid that has built up behind the eardrum. The purpose of the procedure is to restore the normal functioning of the ear. Alternative names include tympanostomy or ventilation tube placement. Dr. Paine can perform a myringotomy for patients experiencing problems due to fluid build-up behind the eardrum.
Most Common Reasons for Myringotomy
When fluid continues to build up behind the eardrum for four months or longer, there is a risk of hearing loss and other developmental problems. If there is a compelling reason, some children may be candidates for ear ventilation tube surgery regardless of how long the fluid has been present or their hearing ability.
Some Possible Reasons for Myringotomy or Tympanostomy Include:
- Acute ear infections
- Patients undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Those who have had a complication resulting from a severe ear infection, such as mastoiditis, brain infection, meningitis, or facial nerve paralysis
- Barotrauma from flying or deep sea diving
While it is more common with children, Dr. Paine can also perform a myringotomy for adults facing one or more of the above issues.
How Is the Myringotomy Performed?
While under anesthesia, a small surgical cut is made in the eardrum. Dr. Paine then carefully suctions out the excess fluid. A small ventilation tube is then inserted through the eardrum. The ventilation tube allows air to flow in, and fluid to continuously flow out of the middle ear.
The surgical cut heals on its own, without the need for stitches. The hole closes and the ear ventilation tubes usually fall out naturally, after an average of 14 months or so.
What Can I Expect After Myringotomy Surgery?
Myringotomy is an outpatient procedure and a hospital stay is not necessary. Use of custom-made earplugs is recommended while in the shower or swimming for the length of time that the ventilation tubes are in place.
After this procedure, most patients report fewer ear infections and faster recovery from infections. If ear infections return after the first ventilation tubes fall out, the procedure can be repeated with another set of ear ventilation tubes.
What Are Some of the Risks Involved with Myringotomy?
As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of bleeding, infection and problems with anesthesia. Risks specific to ear ventilation tube placement include scarring of the eardrum and drainage from the ear. These complications are usually temporary.
Myringotomy in West Virginia
Contact our office to schedule your myringotomy consultation with ENT specialist and board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. A. James Paine, Jr.