Grommets are tiny plastic tubes that are inserted into the ear drum to equalize the pressure across the ear drum. There are different types of grommets but the most commonly used grommets will last, on average 6-12 months. Around this time they will fall out and usually the ear drum heals up behind them.
To read more about why grommets might be recommended click here.
This is a very short procedure and is generally performed under general anaesthesia. A breathing tube is not normally required and the anaesthetist will usually hold a face mask only.
Using a microscope the ear drum is inspected then a small cut is made in the ear drum. Any fluid behind the ear drum is then suctioned out and the grommet is inserted.
As you can appreciate from the two pictures on this page, the grommet straddles the ear drum with half on the inside and half on the outside.
This is done as a day surgery operation and after you or your child has recovered from the anaesthetic you will be free to go home.
The recovery from this operation is very quick. You can usually return to work the following day or your child can return to childcare or school the following day. One or two doses of paracetamol may be required but the pain is not usually significant after this surgery. Depending on the status of the ear and the fluid in the middle ear at the time of surgery I may prescribe antibiotic ear drops for you to use in the week following surgery.
Continue reading more detailed post-operative instructions
Usually I see you back around 6 weeks after the operation